International Cricket Council (ICC) has provisionally suspended and charged three tainted Pakistan players under its anti-corruption code in the wake of the match-fixing scandal during the team’s tour of England.A statement issued by ICC confirmed that Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir “have been officially notified of the offences they are alleged to have committed and have been provisionally suspended pending a decision on those charges.”In accordance with the provisions of the code, this means they are immediately barred from participating in all cricket and related activities until the case has been concluded.”The trio are now due to appear before the Scotland Yard detectives for further questioning on Friday.The players have a right to contest this provisional suspension and a further opportunity to defend these charges at a full hearing before an independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal in accordance with Article 5 of the code, it noted.The players have 14 days from their receipt of the charge sheet to indicate their desire for a hearing, the sport’s governing body said.”We will not tolerate corruption in cricket,” ICC’s Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said, adding that “we must be decisive with such matters and if proven, these offences carry serious penalties up to a life ban.””The ICC will do everything possible to keep such conduct out of the game and we will stop at nothing to protect the sport’s integrity. While we believe the problem is not widespread, we must always be vigilant.”The game’s integrity is of “paramount importance”, the ICC Chief Executive said.advertisement”Prompt and decisive action will be taken against those who seek to harm it. However, the facts must first be established through a thorough investigation and it is important to respect the right of due process when addressing serious allegations of this sort,” he said.”Make no mistake — once the process is complete, if any players are found to be guilty, the ICC will ensure that the appropriate punishment is handed out. We will not tolerate corruption in this great game.”The alleged offences against Pakistani players, if proved, would involve the imposition of a ban on them. There is also a possibility, at the discretion of the independent tribunal, that a fine would be imposed in addition to a ban.The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had announced that it was withdrawing the three players from the one-day series in England until the completion of the inquiry. The Pakistan High Commissioner in the UK, Wajid Shamsul Hasan later told the media that the trio had themselves asked the Board to not consider them for the one-day series as they were under a great deal of mental stress because of the allegations against them.The players had told him they were innocent of the charges against them and would contest them in court if necessary, he said.But despite the PCB and High Commissioner’s statements, sources had indicated that the decision to ground the players had come on the insistence of the ICC when PCB Chairman, Ijaz Butt met with Haroon Lorgat late last night in London.The PCB has already hired a British lawyer and also sent its own legal counsel, Tafazzul Rizvi to London to defend the players while the Pakistan government has also rushed the deputy attorney general to London for the same purpose.The Foreign Office spokesman had said that it was waiting for a preliminary report and clearance from the UK government before sending a high-level investigation team to London.The ICC Anti-Corruption Code for Players and Player Support Personnel was updated and strengthened in 2009 with the unanimous support of ICC members.