Sentences passed: Teammates to inmates

Published: November 4, 2011
Source/Credit: Xpress Tribune
LONDON: Last night, the Pakistan cricket team went to bed wondering how to take the remaining eight Sri Lankan wickets on a flat pitch in Sharjah.

Miles away, Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir lay awake behind bars in London, wondering where it had all gone wrong.

Judge Jeremy Cooke sentenced Butt to 30 months, Asif one year, and their corrupt agent Mazhar Majeed two years and eight months for spot-fixing during the August 2010 Lord’s Test match. Amir was sentenced to six months in a young offenders’ institute.

Amir and Majeed’s guilty pleas, the court heard, had reduced their sentences; the players’ bans from the ICC were also taken into account.

Justice Cooke punctuated his judgment with cutting condemnation, reacting with indignation to the damage they had inflicted on the sport and rebuking them severely for their “greed”.

“These offences, regardless of pleas, are so serious that only a sentence of imprisonment will suffice,” the judge said. The sentences will almost certainly be reduced to half the terms, following good behaviour.

Amir and Butt intend to appeal.

Butt was told to pay £30,937, Amir £9,389, and Asif £8,120 towards the prosecution costs, money which is already in police hands. Majeed was ordered to pay £56,554 within six months.

Majeed collected his suitcase as he was led from the dock, while Asif nodded to a friend in the public gallery before disappearing down to the cells. Butt looked aghast; Amir sunken, a painful contrast to his customary sprightliness on the cricket pitch.

Judge without sympathy

Categories: Pakistan

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