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Spot fixing: the ICC shows it’s claws

[Asif and Butt] will have to make full confession and show appropriate remorse for their suspended sentences to be waived

The Telegraph newspaper is reporting that Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif will have to confess that they took part in the spot fixing scandal if the suspended parts of their sentences are to be commuted. This is quite significant not only does it make the sentences significantly more harsh than first thought it will keep the story in the news as a reminder that this type of behaviour is not acceptable. The ICC still have a lot to do if they are to stop this from happening again.

(Source: telegraph.co.uk)

Cricketing Justice is Dealt

Pakistan’s tour of England in summer 2010 started so promisingly a potent bowling attack to match any in the world, a lower order full of explosive batting, and a dynamic young captain in Salman Butt who seemed to have not only the usual Pakistani flaw but intellectual confidence. Throughout the test series Amir and Asif posed a real threat to the English batting lineup at times giving Pakistan the edge. While brittle batting meant let down the Pakistani team on the pitch it was the greed and naivety of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir that would let down not only their team mates but fans of cricket worldwide and bring the game into disrepute. 

The revelations from the News of the World that Amir and Asif had bowled deliberate no balls under direction of their captain and a suitcase full of money rocked world cricket. Every game Pakistan had played was now under suspicion, even events involving other teams were now in question. The bans of five years each with two additional years suspended for Asif and five additional years suspended for Butt are unprecedented and send a clear signal to any other would be corrupt individuals that they will not profit by bringing the game into disrepute.

The involvement of Amir was a particularly bitter pill he has huge talent his fast left arm had tormented the English batting line-up throughout the series and at such a young age had a future full of glory, beauty, and riches. Amir’s part in this scandal is a real sporting tradegy with cricket denied the full fruits of a rare talent; the senior players, the coaching staff and the administrators must hang their heads in shame for letting Amir get drawn in to such a dirty world. As a cricket fan I hope that we see Amir again he still has a lot to give in terms of cricketing entertainment, but the ICC, the PCB and the rest of world cricket must learn from this loss.

We must now see genuine efforts from the ICC to rid the game of corruption and murk. Draconian sentences are not enough there must be education and protection for young players. A firm hand is needed from administrators, coaches and senior players at all levels, the message must be clear that corruption will not be tolerated. The riches of the IPL must be open to all nationalities, the gloomy politics between India and Pakistan and conservative franchises are as much to blame for the temptation of corruption as any administrators in cricket.