“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” These days Alexander Pope’s oft-quoted quip is applied to all manner of situations; its relevance is universal. Martin Luther-King applied the sentiment to the civil rights movement, as did Nelson Mandela, to an extraordinary degree. Forgiveness is central to most, if not all, religious texts too – the Bible and the Quran to name but two. However there are some acts, or crimes, where forgiveness appear that much harder, where the label is worn by the perpetrator indefinitely.
Yesterday the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed that sanctions against Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt will expire at midnight on 1 September 2015. The ICC announced that the two cricketers, who were convicted alongside their Pakistani team-mate Mohammad Amir for their roles in spot-fixing during the England vs. Pakistan Lord’s Test in August 2010, would be eligible to return to competitive cricket after ‘fulfilling the specific conditions’ laid down by the independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal in February 2011.
The former Pakistan cricket captain, Salman Butt, has signed a written statement specifically confessing to spot-fixing. In the statement, which was published by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Butt admits that he was ‘guilty of breaching the International Cricket Council (ICC) Anti-Corruption Code in the manner found by the Anti-Corruption Tribunal’ and admits specifically to being a ‘party to the bowling of two deliberate no balls in the Lord’s test match.’