Spot-fixing controversy November 5, 2011

Mohammad Asif to be moved to an 'open' prison

Richard Sydenham

Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Asif will this week be moved to an open prison, according to a close friend, which will allow him more freedom and privileges than at a closed prison where more dangerous criminals are housed.

The friend of former world No.2-ranked bowler Asif, who was sentenced to a year in prison on Thursday for his part in the spot-fixing conspiracy, revealed to ESPNcricinfo that Asif is likely to be moved by the end of next week. A call was made to the solicitors of Salman Butt but they did not confirm or deny whether this was also true for their client.

Asif is currently being imprisoned at the high-security jail in Wandsworth, along with his former captain and co-conspirator Butt. It could not be confirmed if agent Mazhar Majeed was also at the same prison. Teenager Mohammad Amir is thought to be at Feltham Young Offenders Institution, which has a reputation for being a harsh environment for inmates.

"I have only spoken to Asif a couple of times on the phone, I haven't been able to visit him just yet, but he has been told he will be moved to an open prison and that should happen within the next five to seven days," the friend told ESPNcricinfo.

The British prison system is divided into four categories A-D, with A being for criminals who are considered a danger to the public or national security. D category is for prisoners who are not considered a risk to society and not expected to attempt escape. They are also likely to have more privileges like being able to wander around the grounds when they wish and have free access to the internet and other leisure options.