Spot-fixing controversy May 1, 2012

Asif release expected this week

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mohammad Asif is this week expected to become the second of the three Pakistan cricketers jailed for spot-fixing to be released. Asif will have completed half of his one-year sentence and becomes eligible for release from Canterbury Prison under British law.

The disgraced Pakistan trio - Asif, his fellow fast bowler Mohammad Amir and captain Salman Butt - participated in a betting scam involving the deliberate bowling of no-balls for financial gain during a Lord's Test match between England and Pakistan in 2010.

Asif and Butt were found guilty at Southwark Crown Court in November 2011 of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments. All three lost an appeal that their sentences were "manifestly excessive" to the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, who upheld the sentences later in November and said that widespread corruption could "destroy the game".

Amir, the youngest at 18, pleaded guilty before the trial and was released from a young offenders' institution midway through his six-month sentence earlier this year. Butt will not become eligible for release until next February, when he has served half of his 30-month sentence. Mazhar Majeed, the agent who was accused of setting up the deal, received a 32-month jail term.

Asif is 29 and his Pakistan career could be over unless he overturns a seven-year ban (the last two of which are suspended) imposed by an ICC tribunal in February last year. Butt was banned for 10 years (five of them suspended) and Amir for five years.

Mohammad Haroon, who described himself as "a friend and cricketer" told the AFP news agency that Asif still intended to go through with his appeal against the ICC ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. "Asif has already appealed against the 12-month sentence and he will also appeal against the ICC ban," Haroon said.

Amir has no plans to appeal and has taken part in an anti-corruption video produced by the ICC.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Hira on May 2, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    @cric_freakNo2...give aamir one more chance? do you think cricket is the same as playing monopoly? no chances simply because they would've carried on with their corrupt ways had they not been caught. Asif is shameless still tries to clear his name *sigh*

  • Dummy4 on May 2, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    What's the point of sentencing people if its possible to pull them out halfway? It would be incredible if any of these characters play international cricket again...they really should not. I am sure Pakistan has many other talented cricketers to fill their places.

  • hibbatur on May 2, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    Asif would have been as successful as the great Glenn McGraw, I hope Asif has learnt his lesson, I wish him well.

  • Sabir on May 2, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    I don't argue that Asif is a great bowler but what he has done as left all the nation in bad name and big shame so I wouldn't like to see him and personally I don't think he will get back in, a great bowler gone to waste and will be missed, as for Aamir he is he young and Naive i would along with other millions of Pakistanis and majority of cricket lovers would love to see him roll his arm over again for Pakistan as I think if he was still playing he would have been a weapon and surely as good as the legend him self Wasim Akram king of swing, I hope the ICC will allow Aamir an early entrance in cricket then we all expect.

  • Dummy4 on May 2, 2012, 13:10 GMT

    Asif is the best bowler ..I have seen till now & I hope he makes a comeback...

    -- Indian

  • Vinod on May 2, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    dont care much about asif. glad that amir is gonna be back. hope he will relaunch himself....just waiting with wishes from this end!!!

  • Deepak on May 2, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    Who cares? He is just another medium pacer who will end up nowhere in the international scene.

  • shiva on May 2, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    Plz give Aamir one more chance :)

  • Hamza on May 2, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    I'm 100% that Asif would have been the #1 Bowler in the world if he wouldn't have been sentenced! And Pakistan is a country which has produced a variety of great fast and spin bowlers.

  • Ashraf on May 1, 2012, 23:18 GMT

    I am tired of all these comments that suggest folks from poor or uneducated backgrounds are somehow more susceptible or inclined to teaching. What rubbish! If that was the case the political elites of Pakistan, who are neither uneducatd nor poor, would have been paragons of integrity!

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