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    Butt, Asif leave for Switzerland to fight their ICC bans

    The Pakistan players were banned by the International Cricket Council for contriving to bowl deliberate no-balls during the Lord\'s Test between Pakistan and England in August 2010.

    Karachi: Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif left for Switzerland Tuesday to fight to overturn bans imposed two years ago for spot-fixing.

    Captain Butt and fast bowlers Asif and Mohammad Aamer were banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for contriving to bowl deliberate no-balls during the Lord's Test between Pakistan and England in August 2010.

    Butt was banned for 10 years, with five suspended, Asif for seven years with two suspended and the then teenager Aamer for five years.The trio were also jailed by a British court over the scandal in November 2011. All three were released last year after completing half of their sentences.

    Aamer, now 20, decided not to pursue his appeal to the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after pleading guilty to the charges in Britain.But Asif's appeal will be heard in the Lausanne court on Thursday, exactly two years and a day after they were banned, and Butt's on Friday.

    "It's a high-profile case of two world-class players with the whole cricket world focused on it and we will fight to get the ban overturned," Asif's lawyer Ravi Sukul told AFP from London.

    "Asif was a terrific bowler and and it was terribly unfortunate that a bowler of his class suffered this, but we will try our best to get this ban overturned and Asif is in high spirits."

    Butt will be represented by another London-based lawyer, Yasin Patel. Asif, 30, played 23 Tests and 38 one-day internationals and was regarded as one of the best new-ball bowlers in the world. Butt, 28, was made Test captain on that fateful tour of England, and Aamer was regarded as the fastest emerging bowler in the world. The ICC will be represented by legal firm Bird and Bird.