Pakistan cricketers and agent jailed for betting scam
Salman Butt jailed for 30 months, Mohammad Asif for one year and Mohammad Amir for six months
The Three Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, along with agent Mazhar Majeed have been jailed after being found guilty of corruption in the spot-fixing scandal.
Passing sentence, Mr Justice Cooke said their crime was “so serious that only a sentence of imprisonment will suffice”.
Ex-Pakistan captain Butt has been jailed for 30 months for his part in the plot, Asif was jailed for one year, and 19-year-old Amir sentenced to six months in prison. Agent Majeed has been jailed for two years and eight months.
The trio organised to bowl deliberate no-balls in the Lord’s Test against England last summer as part of a highly lucrative spot-fixing scam, which was revealed by an undercover News of the World investigation.
“‘It’s not cricket’ was an adage,” Mr Justice Cooke told Court number four. “It is the insidious effect of your actions on professional cricket and the followers of it that make the offences so serious.
“The image and integrity of what was once a game but is now a business is damaged in the eyes of all, including the many youngsters who regarded you as as heroes and would have given their eye teeth to play at the levels and with the skills that you had.
“Your motive was greed, despite the legitimate rewards on offer in salaries and prize money. You have let down all supporters of the game.”
Butt, Asif and Majeed are expected to begin their sentences at Wandsworth prison in south London, while Amir is due to be sent to Feltham young offenders’ institute in west London.
Butt and Asif were found guilty by a jury on Tuesday on both counts of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments.
Amir, who was 18 years old at the time of the Lord’s Test, pleaded guilty to both spot-fixing charges in September, as did agent Majeed – and both did not stand trial with a jury.
Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan labelled it a “shameful day” for Pakistan cricket. “I feel very sad today not only for the players but for Pakistan and its cricket,” he told Geo News.
“But the fact is that when these players see corrupt people flourishing in our society they think they can get away with anything.
“It is a shameful day for Pakistan cricket today. I feel very bad for Amir in particular because he still very young. I think he saw others doing it and thought he could get away with it as well.”