Tainted Pakistan cricketers, agent get jailNovember 3rd, 2011 - 10:01 pm ICT by IANS
London, Nov 3 (IANS) Former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt will spend 30 months in jail, fast bowler Mohammad Asif a year and 19-year-old Mohammad Aamir six months in a correctional facility for their involvement in spot-fixing during the Lord’s Test against England last year.
In a landmark judgment, Justice Jeremy Cooke handed down the sentences to the cricketers and their agent Mazhar Majeed, who got the maximum jail sentence of 32 months. The sentencing made the cricketing world sit up and take note of corrupt practices in the game that have long existed, but have been dealt with kid gloves by the game’s authorities.
The judgment received widespread acclamation from former players and experts.
While handing down the sentences, Justice Cooke of the Southwark Crown Court, said cricket matches would forever be tainted by the scandal.
“‘It’s not cricket’ was an adage. It is the insidious effect of your actions on professional cricket and the followers of it that make the offences so serious,” the judge said.
“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 heroes and would have given their eye, teeth to play at the levels and with the skills that you had,” the judge said.
The judge said all the three players would be released half way through their sentences if they behaved.
Before pronouncing the sentences, Justice Cooke said to all three: “Your motive was greed, despite the legitimate rewards on offer in salaries and prize money…Offences so serious that only a sentence of imprisonment will suffice.”
The judge called Butt “orchestrator of this activity,” and handed a “harsher sentence” than to other players. He also held him responsible for “corrupting” Aamir.
He told Butt that he was involved in fixing before the Lord’s Test also but will only punish him for Lord’s Test.
The judge told Aamir that he respects the guilty plea of the youngster. “It takes courage.”
Butt, Asif and Majeed are thought to have been sent to Wandsworth prison in south London while Aamir will serve his sentence at Feltham young offenders’ institution in west London.
Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan called it a shameful day for his country and its cricket.
“I feel very sad today not only for the players but for Pakistan and its cricket. But the fact is that when these players see corrupt people flourishing in our society, they think they can get away with anything,” Imran said.
“I feel very bad for Aamir in particular because he is still very young. I think he saw others doing it and thought he could get away with it as well.”
Another former player, Ramiz Raja said: “They deserved the punishment. They hurt Pakistan cricket and fans, and justice has been done.”
The three players have all been ordered to pay compensation towards prosecution costs. Butt was ordered to pay £30;,937, Aamir £9;,389, and Asif £8;,120.
The spot-fixing came to light through a sting operation conducted by now-defunct News of the World. An undercover reporter of the NOTW paid Majeed £150;,000 for details of the precise timing of three no-balls, bowled during the fourth Test between Pakistan and England Aug 26.
The sting operation was secretly filmed. Majeed - who represented Aamir, Asif and Butt - was seen proposing to arrange for no-balls to be bowled at specific moments in the fourth Test between England and Pakistan at Lord’s in 2010.
After the spot-fixing allegations first surfaced, Butt, Aamir and Asif were given lengthy bans by the sport’s governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC). Butt received a 10-year ban (five suspended), Asif seven years (two suspended) and Aamir five.
The case was pursued by the London Metropolitan Police. The investigation was completed in 159 days and after 270 days the Crown court delivered the conviction of the players and the agent Tuesday.
- Judge tells Butt he was the 'orchestrator' of spot-fixing - Nov 03, 2011
- Butt and Aamer's appeals rejected - Nov 23, 2011
- Butt, Asif found guilty, face jail - Nov 01, 2011
- Pakistani cricketers face London trial for spot-fixing - Oct 03, 2011
- Pakistani cricketer Aamer released from jail - Feb 02, 2012
- Cricketing world welcomes jail for tainted Pakistanis - Nov 03, 2011
- CA calls match-fixing allegations outlandish - Oct 11, 2011
- Butt calls for fresh trial in Pakistan - Jun 29, 2012
- Asif released from British jail - May 03, 2012
- Butt arrives home, vows to clear his name - Jun 22, 2012
- 'Pak cricket has suffered the greatest setback', says Imran Khan - Sep 06, 2010
- Asif's lawyer accuses Butt of 'pressurising' him - Oct 18, 2011
- Salman Butt released from British prison - Jun 21, 2012
- Pakistani players return to court for sentencing - Nov 02, 2011
- Families stand by jailed Pakistani cricketers - Nov 03, 2011
Tags: aamir, acclamation, adage, correctional facility, corrupt practices, cricket captain, cricket matches, eye teeth, insidious effect, jail sentence, jeremy cooke, kid gloves, landmark judgment, majeed, mohammad asif, pakistan cricket, pakistan cricketers, prize money, salman butt, southwark crown court