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Pakistan spot-fixing: Salman Butt found guilty of both charges 01/11/2011
Matt Scott
• Butt could face custodial sentence of up to seven years
• Jury sent back to deliberate over Mohammad Asif

Salman Butt could face a jail sentence of seven years for the plot to rig events in the fourth Test between England and Pakistan at Lord's in August 2010 after guilty verdicts were delivered in the "spot-fixing" trial on Tuesday.

Mohammad Asif, who at the time of that fourth Test at Lord's was ranked the world's second-best bowler, and his captain, Salman Butt, had been charged with a conspiracy to cheat at gambling and to accept corrupt payments.

Butt was convicted on both charges and Asif of having cheated at gambling; however, the jury has not yet reached a verdict on the corrupt-payments allegation relating to Asif and has been sent out for further deliberation. The criminal conviction has been handed down on the day Butt's wife Gul gave birth to their second child, a boy, in Lahore.

The pair were impassive in the dock as Tuesday's verdicts came in, the culmination of three days' deliberations by the jury and of a trial spanning four weeks and two days at Southwark crown court.

Butt was found guilty on a 10-2 majority verdict over his acceptance of corrupt payments and unanimously on cheating. The verdict against Asif for cheating was unanimous but the jury remains hung on the corrupt-payments charge.

It is the first time any sportsman has been convicted of cheating under the Gambling Act 2005. Sentencing will take place during a two-day hearing beginning on Thursday.

The charges related to the no-ball Asif delivered during that Test, after it was proved that the delivery was predetermined for the purposes of gambling in a plot arranged between Butt's agent, Mazhar Majeed, and an undercover journalist, Mazher Mahmood of the News of the World. Without Butt's direction as captain the fix could not have taken place.

Salman Butt

Born 7 October 1984

Born in Lahore to a middle-class family and educated in an English-speaking school, Butt had to take care of his two sisters' education and household expenses following the separation of his parents when he was 14. He did not pick up a bat until he was 12 yet by the time he had turned 16 Butt was already playing first-class cricket. He was still only 18 when he made his Test debut and had played 28 Tests as a steady left-handed batsman when he took over the captaincy from Shahid Afridi in 2010. His Test average of 30.46 was much exceeded by the 36.82 he recorded in 50-over cricket and he opened the batting during Pakistan's triumph in the World Twenty20 tournament held in England in 2009.

His involvement in the sport had legitimately earned him an estimated $1.2m (£750,000) from his contracts and prize money with the Pakistan Cricket Board and the Indian Premier League's Kolkata Knight Riders, as well as sponsorships with companies including Adidas.

Mohammad Asif

Born 20 December 1982

At the time Pakistan toured England last year, the tall, rangy right-armed bowler from Punjab had become a Test specialist after being dropped from Pakistan's limited-overs teams. But he was a formidable force, noted not for his pace but for his accuracy and seam movement. With a bowling average of 24.36, Asif had risen to be ranked by the ICC the second-best bowler in the world. He was, though, a natural No11 and far less proficient with the bat. As many as 14 of Asif's 38 innings ended with him losing his wicket without scoring a single run.

Asif said he and Majeed had clashed over his decision to strike up his own bat sponsorship with Solisports, a company with which Majeed was not connected.

But telephone records showed several instances of calls, voicemails and texts between Asif and the agent. Though none of the content of those calls or texts was recovered, the fact alone that Asif bowled a no-ball on the sixth ball of the 10th over at Lord's, as predicted by Majeed, was enough to convict him.

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