Spot-fixing controversy October 27, 2011

Butt, Asif await visa extensions

Richard Sydenham at Southwark Crown Court

A bizarre situation has occurred during the alleged spot-fixing trial with the two Pakistan cricketers on trial requiring visa extensions to remain in the United Kingdom.

Applications have been made to the relevant border agencies in the UK as currently the visas of Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif expire at midnight on Monday, October 31. Usual trends can see such a practice take weeks but with the two players on a high-profile trial and with a verdict pending, fast-tracked extensions are being requested.

Should the jury release 'not guilty' verdicts arrive either on Thursday or Friday of this week, then one or both of the players would not need the extensions and would be free to return home to Pakistan. The extensions are needed in case the verdict is delayed beyond the current visa deadline date.

Former captain Butt and pace bowler Asif face charges of conspiracy to cheat, and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments, following the Lord's Test in August last year when they allegedly conspired with agent Mazhar Majeed and teenage fast bowler Mohammad Amir and other people unknown to bowl pre-planned no-balls. Butt and Asif deny the charges.