From Lord’s To Wandsworth Prison For 3 Pakistani Cricketers




When Judge Jeremy Cooke said, “It is bad for the game of cricket, bad for the country and shows the character of the man involved” at London’s Southwark Crown Court on Thursday, the world of International sport stood in stunned silence as the game of Cricket was brought into serious disrepute. Three Pakistani cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were sentenced to imprisonment for ‘spot-fixing’ in the Lord’s test match against England last year.

From Lord’s to Wandsworth Prison for three Pakistani Cricketers

From Lord’s to Wandsworth Prison for three Pakistani Cricketers

Pakistan cricket has always been full of trials and tribulations with its cricketers constantly engaged in scandals relating to dope and ball tampering, selection dilemmas and tiffs between the cricketers and the Pakistan Cricket Board. Being one of the nations which pay its cricketers a very poor match fee, the players take to other means by which they can make easy money and end up guilty of corruption and cheating. Apart from the imprisonment the cricketers are now liable to pay a fine of £30,937 for Butt, £9,389 for Amir and £8,120 for Asif.

Salman Butt was convicted as “the orchestrator” with 30 months imprisonment as he had made sure Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were bowling from either end. They deliberately bowled no-balls in favour of the opposition without realizing the seriousness of their actions. Along with the trio a fourth man from London, Mazhar Majeed was also sent to jail for 30 months for playing the role of an agent in the betting scam.

Mohammad Asif, already infamous for doping allegations was subject to 12 months behind bars as no money was found in his possession but still held guilty of bowling two intentional no-balls. Asif’s father said “Jails are made for men, so what if my son is sent there”, clearly showing how little he understood about the grimness of the situation. Butt and Asif denied the charges initially as against Mohammad Amir who accepted to his crime. He was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment in a juvenile detention facility in Feltham as he is only 18 years of age. Amir was very remorseful as to how he had let down the nation and the game which he loved so much.

It was a sad day indeed for Pakistan itself as their cricketers had brought humiliation to the nation because of their greedy intentions. This was the most severe punishment meted out to cricketers till now. Previously Hanse Cronje, Mohammad Azharuddin and Salim Malik were only given life-time bans for match-fixing allegations during their time. The offence as such seems very minor as they had only bowled no-balls but the intention was greed and the magnanimity of the situation is such that the game will be tainted forever with disgrace.

The final words of the Judge sums it up as he said, “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 you as heroes and would have given their eye and teeth to play at the levels and with the skills that you had.” Though it will be an example for all those who take to such criminal acts in future, what the three cricketers have caused is shame for their families, embarrassment to their nation and ignominy to a noble sport!

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