Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and experienced fast bowler Mohammed Asif have been both found guilty of match fixing and could now face a prison sentence.
A third player, Mohammed Amir has also been found guilty for his part in the scam. The trio plotted to deliberately bowl “no-balls” in the Test match against England at Lords back in 2010.
They had got their agent to put large amounts of money on the fact that they would bowl “no-balls” at certain stages. For example Mohammed Asif would bowl a “no-ball” on the fourth ball of the 10th over.
At the time nothing suspicious about it as “no-balls” in Test matches are regular enough but when replays showed the extent of the “no-balls” than people began to question what was going on.
The trio would have got away with it was it no for an undercover investigation by the now extinct News of the World newspaper. They wired one of their journalists and set up a meeting with the agent who was at the centre of the scandal. The journalist handed over a large sum of cash to the agent for him to arrange to fix a game.
Following this, Butt, Asif and Amir were all banned from playing all forms of cricket pending further investigation. Yesterday in London, they received their punishment for crimes against the game and will be sentenced during a two day hearing on Wednesday and Thursday.
Mohammed Asif is just 18 years of age and it seems he was embroiled into the scam by Butt and Asif. The young bowler was taken advantage of and admitted he was guilty as soon as the news came out. As a result, he is only expected to get a 4 month or less jail sentence plus a hefty fine and being banned from cricket for life.
The other two, who were the ring leaders in the scam face a jail sentence from 4-7 years, a fine and a ban from cricket for life. Salman Butt was Pakistan’s captain during the tour of England in August of 2010. He was an exciting young batsman and when the scam was revealed he protested his innocence right up to when he was in court.
Right, so you ask how does a scam like this work? Well the agent receives money from wealthy business men, book makers etc and promises that “no-balls” would be bowled at a certain point during the game. The agent would organise the details with Butt and Asif and Amir and Asif himself, who are both bowlers would deliver the “no-balls” at the exact point as promised.
The events were extremely suspicious and was emphasised by the fact that a statictian worked out that there was a one in 1.5 million chance of predicting that the “no-balls” would be bowled at the certain times.
Amir issued an 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 vulnerable 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 recognises the damage he has caused Pakistan cricket and he wishes to do his best to put that right.”
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