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Pakistani trio jailed for cricket fixing scam

Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir have been handed custodial sentences after they were found guilty of spot fixing.

Salman Butt pictured outside London's Southwark Crown Court.
Salman Butt pictured outside London's Southwark Crown Court.
Image: Sang Tan/AP/Press Association Images

THREE PAKISTANI CRICKETERS have been jailed for their involvement in a spot-fixing betting scam.

Salman Butt, Pakistan’s former test captain, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison at London’s Southwark Crown Court this morning.

Fast bowler Mohammad Asif was sentenced to a year in jail for his role in the fraud while a third defendant, teenage bowler Mohammad Amir, got six months.

On Tuesday, a jury found Butt, 27, and Asif, 28,  guilty of a conspiracy to cheat and to accept corrupt payments after a News of the World investigation uncovered a plot to deliberately bowl “no-balls” during a test against England last year.

Amir, 19,  pled guilty to similar charges at a pre-trial hearing on 16 September, although this detail was not made public until after his co-conspirators’ trials had concluded.

Mazhar Majeed, the UK-based sports agent who facilitated the plot, was also jailed for two years and eight months this morning.

The scam was uncovered in August 2010 when Majeed was filmed accepting £150,000 in cash after promising that he could have the trio rig the match at certain points, allowing criminal betting rings to rake in huge profits.

In his sentencing remarks, Mr Justice Cook told the players that “the image and integrity of what was once a game but is now a business has been damaged in the eyes of all.”

“Your motive was greed, despite the legitimate rewards on offer in salaries and prize money,” he added, deeming the offences “so serious that only a sentence of imprisonment will suffice.”

All three players will be eligible for release on licence after serving half of their sentences.

Read Mr Justice Cook’s sentencing remarks in their entirety here >

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Niall Kelly

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