November 2nd, 2011
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PAK cricketers Butt, Asif found guilty of ‘spot- fixing’

Salman Butt, Mohammad AsifLondon: Pakistan’s two star players, former captain, Salman Butt, and fast bowler Mohammad Asif, were found guilty of “spot-fixing” and were convicted at London’s Southwark Crown Court that was teeming with cricket fans and journalists from around the world.The verdict came after a four-week trial that saw some of the biggest names in Pakistan cricket, including those of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis being dragged into controversy.

They are said to have conspired to deliberately bowl no-balls during a Test match against England at Lord’s last summer. Pace bowler Mohammad Amir, has already pleaded guilty but this could not be reported earlier because he was only 18 at the time. He would be sentenced along with the other two later this week.

The former chief of the International Cricket Council, Ehsan Mani, called it a “very sad day” for cricket. “This tells us that Pakistani cricket establishment has failed somewhere. It’s a very sad day for cricket around the world,” he said.

After deliberating for nearly 17 hours amid reports of deep divisions, the jury found both Butt (27) and Asif (28) guilty of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments. The latter charge carries a maximum jail term of seven years. Butt’s wife Gul Hassan had given birth to a baby boy just an hour before he was found guilty. The players will remain on bail until they are sentenced.


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