Once Pakistan’s star cricketer and now fallen hero, Mohammad Asif, is scheduled to be released on May 5, after serving his sentence in the United Kingdom, The Times of India reported on Monday.
According to his lawyer Ravi Gill, Asif will decide when to return home after his release, “Asif will complete his jail term on May 5 and all formalities have been completed for his release.”
The infamous trio, including bowlers Asif, Mohammad Amir and batsman Salman Butt, were given jail terms of varying lengths by a London court in October 2011 for being involved in spot-fixing during Pakistan’s tour of England in 2010.
They had been found guilty of bowling no-balls on predetermined deliveries in exchange for vast amounts of money. The fix had been made between Mazhar Majeed, who was close to the players, and an undercover News of the World reporters. The undercover reporters managed to video tape the entire deal.
Asif, 29, was jailed for 12 months while Butt was given a 30-month sentence. All three had appealed against their sentences but were rejected by the Lord Chief Justice.
In February 2011, an International Cricket Council (ICC) tribunal had banned former captain Butt for 10 years (the last five years of which have been suspended should no further offences happen), Asif for seven years (with last two years suspended should no further offences happen) and Amir for five years.
However, Asif has lodged an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) against his ban in January 2012.
“We have heard Asif is being released this week. Whenever he returns to Pakistan, the terms and conditions of the ICC ban will remain on him and he will not be allowed to take part in any cricket related activity in Pakistan,” a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said.
A family member of Asif said they wanted him to return home as soon as he was released as they were eager to meet him.
Since his debut in 2005, Asif took 106 wickets in 23 tests , 36 wickets in 48 one-day internationals and 13 wickets in 11 Twenty-20 internationals.
Meanwhile Amir, the youngest of the three, who was released in February and returned home in March after completing a six month jail term at a youth detention centre in the UK has decided against appealing against his five year ban imposed by the ICC.
While he cannot participate in any cricketing activities, including being barred him from using the facilities at the National Cricket Academy by the PCB, the board has decided to use him in their fight against corruption and warning the country’s young cricketers about the effects of indulging in spot-fixing or match-fixing.
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