Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Amir face jail terms

Posted by Admin On 11:28 AM

Three of the world's top cricketers were facing possible jail terms after being convicted of match-fixing. Pakistan's former Test captain Salman Butt, 27, and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif, 28, and Mohammad Amir, 19, plotted to bowl on purpose no-balls in the Lord's Test against England last summer as part of a lucrative betting scam.
The trio was caught after an undercover reporter record UK-based sports agent Mazhar Majeed, 36, audacity of how he could arrange for Pakistan cricketers to rig games for money. Butt missed the birth of his second child as he and former world number two Test bowlers Asif were found guilty by a jury at London's Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday of scheme to cheat and scheme to accept corrupt payments.
Amir, a teenage cricketing feeling who was tipped to become one of the all-time great fast bowlers, admitted the same charges at a pre-trial hearing last month. The fixing scandal emerges after the News of the World's former investigations editor Mazher Mahmood approach Majeed in August last year pretending to be a wealthy Indian businessman seeking major international cricketers for a contest.
The agent was secretly filmed accepting £150,000 in cash from the journalist as part of an arrangement to rig games. Majeed promised the reporter that Asif and Amir would deliver three no-balls at detailed points during the Test between Pakistan and England at Lord's in north London from August 26 to 29 last year.
The no-balls were bowled exactly as promised. The likelihood of someone predicting this by chance was estimated by a cricket statistician as 1.5million to one. Amir issued a heartfelt apology for his actions through his barrister, Ben Emmerson QC, who told the court at an earlier hearing:Amir wants to make it clear he wants to take full responsibility for what he did by deliberately bowling two no-balls.
This susceptible 18-year-old boy, as he was then, was subjected to extreme pressure from those upon whom he should have been able to rely.”He recognizes the damage he has caused Pakistan cricket and he wishes to do his best to put that right.Butt and Asif both strenuously denied any involvement in match-fixing throughout the four-week trial.
Butt, whose wife Gul Hassan gave birth to their second son in Pakistan, said the agent asked him to rig parts of crunch games at the 2010 Twenty20 World Cup and last summer's Test series against England.
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