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|Pakistan spot-fixing: Salman Butt found guilty of both
| 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
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
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.
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
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.
Born 7 October
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.
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
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
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.