Lorgat promises full disclosure of investigation
Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, has promised that all the details of the Pakistan spot-fixing investigation will be revealed once the verdict is announced on February 5. The six-day tribunal in Doha concluded without a final decision and it was revealed two Tests were now under scrutiny.
The key development over those days, where information was scarce and carefully controlled, was the charges brought against Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt in relation to The Oval Test, the third of the series, which wasn't part of the initial spot-fixing controversy that erupted after a News of the World sting during the Lord's Test that concluded the contest.
Amir and Asif were cleared regarding The Oval match before the conclusion of the hearing in Doha but Butt, the Pakistan captain for the series in England, remains under investigation. Despite that news becoming public, Lorgat wouldn't elaborate on the details which led the ICC to extending their investigation towards the match Pakistan won by four wickets to level the series.
"You'll recall when we held a press conference when the spot fixing first broke in London, Sir Ronnie Flanagan [the head of the ACSU] and myself indicated that wherever the evidence leads us we will proceed to investigate in absolute detail," Lorgat told reporters in Melbourne.
"As we proceeded with the initial Lord's Test that was the subject of the original investigation there were certain leads which led us to The Oval Test match. We weren't prepared to leave any stone unturned so we presented certain charges for that match as well.
"We don't comment on investigations, we don't report on ACSU matters and once all of this is said and done and the verdict is out a more full report will be provided."
Despite the delay in the final outcome of the hearings, which means the decision will be given even closer to the World Cup, Lorgat was satisfied with how the investigation had moved. "I am pleased with the progress we have made," he said. "It is a short space of time, it is a complex matter and it is running alongside a criminal investigation. I believe we have done very well to get to this position with a six-day tribunal that has sat and now we await a judgement."
None of the three players central to the controversy will be involved in Pakistan's World Cup campaign, but the new date for a ruling on the case is just two weeks before the tournament launches on February 19. As much as the ICC try to separate the two it is likely to provide a significant cloud of the major global one-day competition.