Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt, and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were today jailed by London’s Southwark Crown Court for involvement in a spot-fixing scam during the 2010 Lord’s Test against England.
Former captain Butt was sentenced to 30 months, while Asif was given one year and fellow pace bowler Amir will be jailed for six months.
“It’s not cricket’ was an adage. It is the insidious effect of your actions on professional cricket and the followers of it which make the offenses so serious,” said Justice Cooke in his sentencing remarks.
“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 three of you as heroes, and would have given their eye and teeth to play at the levels and with the skill that you had.
“These offences, regardless of pleas, are so serious that only a sentence of imprisonment will suffice,” he told the convicted quartet.
Mr Justice Cooke’ statement on Butt:
“It’s clear you were the orchestrator of these matters.
You had to be to make sure these two bowlers were bowling at the time of the fix,” the judge stated.
“As captain, you influenced Amir at an age when he was just 18. Amir is a talented bowler, it was hard for him to resist as you were the captain. As captain, you have perpetuated corruption. You did terrible things, it is bad for cricket and bad for your country,” he said.
“But you have been good to your family, so you have been sentenced to a 30 months imprisonment.”
Mr Justice Cooke’ statement on Asif:
“Whilst no money was found in your possession, it’s clear that you conspired to bowl a no—ball.
There’s no evidence on your part of prior fixing, but it’s hard to see that this could have been an isolated incident.”
Mr Justice Cooke’ statement on Amir:
“You have already accepted your responsibility for whatever you have done, and also you come from a rural background and you were just 18 at that time. I am considering all that and I sentence you for six months, otherwise, it would have been nine months,” he said.
The cricketers, however, might have to serve just half of their sentences as they can be released on license if their behaviour is good.
The three players were also ordered to pay up the prosecution cost of the case. While Butt was asked to fork out 30,937 pounds, Asif and Amir were told to pay 8,120 and 9,389 pounds respectively.
The convicted four can appeal against their sentences.