Pakistani players return to court for sentencing

November 2nd, 2011 - 8:58 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 2 (IANS) The three Pakistan players found guilty of spot-fixing returned to court Wednesday ahead of their sentences.

Salman Butt, the disgraced former Pakistan captain, and fast bowler Mohammad Asif were found guilty of cheating and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments, and it emerged that Mohammad Aamer pleaded guilty to both charges at a pre-trial hearing in September.

Aamer was at Southwark Crown Court for the first time, while Butt and Asif were back in the court where their trial lasted four weeks, according to the Daily Mail Thursday.

The International Cricket Council (ICC), who had to play second fiddle to a News of the World investigation which uncovered the corruption, Tuesday night vowed to re-open their probes into allegations of wrong-doing during England’s Tests against Pakistan at Trent Bridge, Edgbaston and The Oval as well as the three deliberate no-balls at Lord’s.

An ICC investigation had already led to all three players being banned from all cricket for five years. There is also evidence pointing to an attempt to manipulate Pakistan’s Test against Australia at Lord’s in a match that was played under the MCC’s Spirit of Cricket banner.

“The verdicts followed close to 17 hours of deliberations by the jury. Evidence revealed at the completion of the case also claimed that at least seven unidentified underworld bookmakers were pulling the strings of the Pakistan players via (agent) Majeed throughout the 2010 summer,” the report said.

“Texts recovered by Scotland Yard with the help of the Canadian police suggest the fixers organised wickets to be thrown away, deliberate scoring rates and bowlers to leak runs in at least five games,” the report added.

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