Pakistani cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif have been found guilty of conspiracy to cheat and accepting corrupt payments in their spot-fixing trial.

Newspaper Article

- The Metro, UK

Both men now face custodial sentences of up to seven years. Butt was convicted on both charges earlier today, while Asif was initially found guilty of having cheated at gambling, but after further deliberation the jury reached a 10-2 majority guilty verdict on the corrupt-payments allegation.

Fast bowler Mohammad Amir is the third player involved, and he pleaded guilty to both charges on 16 September.

Judge Justice Cook is expected to hand down sentences to all three men on Thursday.

Former Pakistan captain Butt and former world number two bowler Asif were brought to court after an undercover reporter for the News of the World recorded sports agent Mazhar Majeed offering to rig events within matches for money.

Majeed claimed that fixing part of a game, such as deliberately bowling no-balls, would cost between £50,000 and £80,000, while rigging entire results would cost up to £1million for a five-day Test match.

The agent was then secretly filmed allegedly accepting £150,000 in cash from the undercover journalist as part of an arrangement in relation to spot-fixing.

Prosecutors said Butt and Asif had plotted to bowl deliberate no-balls in the Lord’s Test as part of a lucrative betting scam between August 26 and 29 last year.

A cricket statistician was heard in court estimating that someone predicting these no-balls by chance was 1.5million to one.

Butt and Asif both strenuously denied any involvement in match-fixing, but after deliberating for nearly 17 hours a jury at London’s Southwark Crown Court unanimously convicted the pair of conspiracy to cheat.

The pair did not react to the news but sat expressionless in the dock.

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