Three Pakistan cricket players were imprisoned today after being sentenced to serve jail time for match fixing. Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and their agent Mazhar Majeed were all jailed today for a fixing conspiracy that the judge said threatened the image and integrity of the game of cricket.
The men, who were handed down sentences between six months and over two and half years, have become the first sportsmen to be jailed for on-field corruption in the UK in 50 years. They were arrested after the fourth Test between Pakistan and England in August 2010.
While many in the cricket world were shocked by the harsh outcome, Indian World Cup winning captain Mahendra Singh has said that “It’s the worst thing you can do while representing your country.” It may be a distressing day for these men, but for the cricket world it is positive, sending a clear warning to all players and management of the severity and seriousness of match fixing.
The judge described Butt and Majeed as the architects of the operation, and blamed the former captain for corrupting Amir, an “unsophisticated, uneducated, impressionable” youngster from an impoverished background.
The conspiracy was exposed when an undercover News Of The World reporter filmed Majeed accepting £150,000 for providing details of the exact timing of three no-balls.
There have been reports about a lot of public anger among the Pakistan people who feel betrayed and disappointed by their national heroes. Pakistan cricket board spokesman, Nadeem Sarwar, has said that “There is little sympathy in Pakistan for the sorry pass they have come to.”
Image source: The Tribune