D-Day for 'fixing' trio
Doha - Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer are set to learn their fate on Tuesday with an anti-corruption tribunal against them expected to wind up.
The hearing has been held behind closed doors at the Qatar Financial Centre since January 6 with International Cricket Council (ICC) officials saying that closing statements were being heard Tuesday morning.
The three face charges of spot-fixing during Pakistan's tour of England last year in a scandal that rocked the sport. It is alleged that they conspired in the bowling of deliberate no-balls -- claims they all deny.
They were provisionally suspended by the ICC in September, with the world governing body's code of conduct carrying a minimum five-year ban if corruption charges are proved.
The maximum punishment is life out of the game.
Ahead of the verdict, fast bowler Aamer told reporters it had been one of the hardest times of his life.
"You can see my eyes are sore because I have not been able to sleep for the last few days," he said.
"I have been talking to my parents and they have tried to raise my confidence. I know a lot of people are praying for me because it's a matter of my career."
His lawyer Shahid Karim said he was happy with how the tribunal had proceeded.
"We are satisfied with the five-day proceedings and hope for a good verdict," he said.
The scandal came to light when Britain's News of the World claimed that seven Pakistani players, including Butt, Aamer and Asif, took money from bookie Mazhar Majeed to obey orders at specific stages in the Lord's Test in August.
Scotland Yard detectives raided the team hotel in London, reportedly confiscating a huge amount of money from former Pakistan captain Butt's room.
The three-man independent hearing is being led by code of conduct commissioner and leading lawyer Michael Beloff of England, aided by Justice Albie Sachs from South Africa and Kenyan Sharad Rao.
It is seen as the worst scandal in cricket since that of South Africa's Hansie Cronje.
A decade ago the former South Africa captain, who died in a mysterious plane crash in 2002, was revealed to have accepted money from bookmakers in a bid to influence the course of games as well as trying to corrupt his team-mates.
Read News24’s Comments Policy
Intimidation at its best
I've seen it in the Englishmen's eyes. I haven't seen it yet from the tourists from India. They...