Salman Butt, Amir, Asif summoned

Published: August 31, 2010
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Pakistani cricket fans torch posters of cricket team players during a protest in Rawalpindi. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistani cricket fans torch posters of cricket team players during a protest in Rawalpindi. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistani cricket fans torch posters of cricket team players during a protest in Rawalpindi. PHOTO: AFP The team in disgrace. Spot-fixing report has been submitted to the president and the prime minister. PHOTO: AFP Pakistan's Manager Yawar Saeed (R) and assistant manager Shafqat Ranan (C) read the News of the World newspaper as Kamran Akmal looks on. PHOTO: REUTERS

Salman Butt, Mohammed Amir and Muhammed Asif have been summoned to London in the ongoing spot-fixing scandal investigation.

The players were stopped from taking part in practice sessions in Taunton. They to play a practice match against Sommerset on September 2, 2010. All three players will skip team practice sessions to meet Pakistani High Commissioner in London Wajid Shamsul Hassan. They are also scheduled to meet Pakistan Cricket Board’s legal adviser in England.

End of live updates 5:07pm

Robb Smyth from the Guardian talks about cricket’s latest ‘JFK moment’.

Where were you? Cricket’s latest JFK moment occurred at around 10pm on Saturday, when the News of the World broke the story of the year. The Spin tends to deal in shocking Saturday nights but this put a new spin on an old theme. For the next hour all we could do was softly shake our head and mumble “not the kid, please not the kid”.

We knew the summer was going to belong to Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, but we thought it was for what they did with the ball, not their front foot. If they did bowl deliberate no-balls – and the evidence looks horrible, particularly the picture of Salman Butt starting at the bowler rather than the batsman – it is obvious that they must be dealt with severely, yet the widespread calls for life bans are surely, at this stage, over the top.

4:45pm

Celebrity couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had sued News of the World over a false story on the couple’s break-up earlier this year.

When the News of the World ran a front page story last month declaring the couple were splitting up after six years and as many children, and dividing their £205m joint fortune, the pair decided enough was enough, and wrote to the paper to demand an apology for these “false and intrusive allegations”.

4:38pm

‘Spot fixing occurs in almost all matches’ – while Pakistan may have been busted in this scandal, one Mumbai-based bookmaker explains what spot-fixing is, and alleges that it occurs in almost all matches.

Bookie: We call spot fixing fancy fixing. That is another name for spot fixing.

NDTV: Why do you call it fancy fixing?

Bookie: We call it so because there are no deals when the match is on. We decide what is to be done after five overs or after ten overs. We also decide when no-balls are to be bowled. Sometimes officers and umpires get involved too.

NDTV: Where did this term come from?

Bookie: This is a term that has been in use for a while.

NDTV: But why do you use this word? What is the meaning?

Bookie: We call it fancy fixing because the deals are not made ball to ball. The deals are made keeping in mind what will happen at the end of ten overs, what will happen at the end of fifteen overs, we decide on whether a player will make a century or will he get out.

4:30pm

Stephen Moss writing for The Guardian holds a soft spot for the Pakistan cricket team, calling for an’understand and repair’ approach, rather than ‘condemn and punish’.

think about the psychology of this team. They have been on the road for months, in Australia and England, living in anonymous hotels, bored to death, surrounded by sycophants and bloodsuckers offering them gifts and money … and perhaps suggesting that if they don’t take the easy option bad things might befall their families back home in Pakistan. Current and former England players, blessed with the stability and comparative riches of the game here, have rushed to judgment without knowing any of the true facts or trying to understand the pressures on the Pakistan players.

4:00pm

Shane Watson suspects Pakistan’s culture may be to blame for the cricket scandal.

“Whether it’s in their culture I don’t know, I don’t know how deep it runs, but it’s unfortunate that someone of his skill has got tied up with something that is damaging to cricket and to the individuals. I found him to be a brilliant competitor on the field.”

3:56pm

Back to the conspiracy theory:

The story has too many holes. Exactly who recieved £150,000? Where has the cash disappeared? Why did a Sky Sports reporter have a 90 minute heads up? Things don’t add up. – Shaikh Hassaan Ainul Yaqin

3:51pm

umaronline TV Journalist Harini Rana on Sky – ‘The players could face the death penalty if found guilty’ < really? #PakCricket#Cricket

3:45pm

Former skipper Wasim Akram says spot-fixing allegations might have brought turmoil in Pakistan cricket but it would be hasty to label the players as culprits.

“The team morale is down big time, there is a controversy in which six to seven players are involved. The media in Pakistan has already given their verdict on these allegations but one must wait for the allegations to be proven.”

3:39pm

Twitter users from Pakistan express a mix of bitter humour and frustration.

Faria_Khan_ Loved BBC Orla Guerin’s report from the streets of#Pakistan.Typical Pakistani jazbati male: ‘The PCB & players should be shot.’ #PakCricket

MudassarAlvi And finally, a joke Match-fixing just got easier;even people with no balls can do it..#pakcricket

YasarQamar If you still think Paki players are innocent and all this is a hatched conspiracy, Get a life! #PakCricket

fifiharoon#Pakistan cricketers summoned home to face treason charges #pakcricket #crickethttp://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/31/2998806.htm

3:26pm

Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Tuesday that there might be a conspiracy behind the match-fixing scam.

“We will believe only when we have concrete evidence with us.”

The conspiracy theory argument is also making the rounds on Twitter.

SamiurRehman All those who are constantly criticizing the Pakistani cricket team, plz give it a read! http://worldocricket.wordpress.com/ #pakcricket

3:22pm

Sambit Bal, Editor Cricinfo gives a sympathetic nod to the Pakistan cricket team.

Before anything else, let this be said. No two cricketers have brought more joy in the last 12 months to the true lover of the game than Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif. Say what you must about the spectacles of strokeplay or close finishes in the shorter forms, there is nothing quite as sensational, or dramatic, as a pair of quick bowlers bursting through a batting line-up.

3:20pm

The Sun quoted Test umpire Darrell Hair, as saying Pakistan has allegedly been up to throwing ‘suspect’ no-balls and wides for some time.

“It didn’t shock me at all. When the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption unit was formed a decade ago they went around the world and spoke to all the leading umpires… and they said there were concerns in tournaments in places like Sharjah that the Pakistanis were bowling (deliberate) no balls and wides. But they have not been able to get any proof.”

3:15pm

Investigations by The Express Tribune reveal that a London-based source close to the Pakistan team shared his earlier worries with regards to the Majeed brothers, Mazhar and Azhar.

Former friend and actor Veena Malik claimed in a programme on Express TV to have evidence of the fast bowler’s involvement in match-fixing.

Blog: Amir, Asif, how could you?

Blog: A sport for gentlemen no more…

Blog: Love, donkeys and Pakistani cricket

Blog: ‘Give the dog a bad name and hang him’

3:oopm

Video update: Imran Khan says exemplary punishment is due for those player involved in spot fixing.

Video update: Ramiz Raja comments along the same lines.

2:51pm

Aitzaz Ahsan quoted in The Independent on cricket scandal:

It’s very shameful and very disturbing. It’s not just affecting cricket, but is a blow to the very body politic of Pakistan.

2:46pm

Former Pakistan cricket coach Geoff Lawson has made some startling revelations from times when he used to coach the embattled side.  Trying to give an insight into Pakistani players’ alleged role in spot fixing, Lawson believes there’s much more at stake than just money.

The former Australian fast bowler, who coached the team between 2007 and 2008, said if the allegations were proved, it could well be related to extortion, threats, and the well-being of their own family members. He said it would not be surprising if illegal bookmakers had told players to perform X and Y if they wanted their families to be safe.

2:42pm

Video updated of Rehman Malik weighing in on the cricket scandal.

2:41 pm

Cricinfo report states that former Pakistan captain Imran Khan has said he is concerned about the long-term repercussions the match-fixing crisis could have on the country’s cricketing establishment but feels it is a chance for the authorities to act in a manner that would discourage future cricketers from considering such activities.

“If they are proved, not just in terms of the best players in the team being implicated but from the public point of view, they would not understand the finer points of the game and each time they lose they will think it’s a fixed match.”

Stern action may follow

Federal Minister for Sports Aijaz Jakhrani has said that stern action would be taken against national cricketers if they are found guilty of spot-fixing.

Talking to Express 24/7, Jakhrani said that an investigation into allegations of the betting scam is underway, and it’s too early to say anything. He said that no charges have been pressed against any player yet.

Exemplary punishments and possible loopholes

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday vowed to take swift action if betting scam allegations against Pakistan were proven as damaging claims threatened the sport’s credibility.

ICC said corruption would not be tolerated and anyone found guilty of “spot-fixing” would be punished as the allegations of bowling pre-arranged no-balls engulfed top Pakistan players.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said that they were conducting their own inquiry and would take action against any guilty players.

The ICC had a “zero-tolerance approach to corruption in cricket”, he said in a statement Monday.

Scope for leniency?

Yahoo! Eurosport UK article states that the ICC’s anti-corruption code, which lays out a very specific procedure that must be followed in the case of spot or match-fixing, leaves scope for leniency depending on the situation.

Any allegations must first be referred to the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit’s (ACSU) general manager for investigation.

If he, in consultation with the ICC’s CEO and legal head, determines there is a case, the player will be sent a notice.

Factors that could influence the tribunal to issue a harsher punishment include a lack of remorse on the part of the player, a history of transgressions and whether the amount of the money received by the player was substantial.

Actions that affect the outcome of the match are to be judged more harshly than those that do not.

Feel free to add updates in the comments section below.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 2:59PM

    The profile of the journalist Mazhar Yonus speaks volumes about what he is really best at doing. Doing dirty work for Brits and making money out of it. It is ironic that suddenly the media in West started giving coverage to this scandal and they just removed all the news from headlines about the devastating floods in Pakistan. Just when the support for the floods was bieng built this scandal started making headlines. I am never for conspiracy theories and West vs East but this does look strange to me.
    Also the Sydney scandal why was not it revealed before. It is too suspicious to be believed. I agree with a cricketer’s father in Dawn television interview, this is all made up to malign the Pakistan cricketers’ image.Recommend

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 3:32PM

    After looking at the news of world website and the content they have written and writing, i don’t think there is any truth in that. Remember this is same newspaper which was sued by Angelina and Pitt for their false breakup news.Recommend

  • KM
    Aug 31, 2010 - 3:39PM

    If you are guilty you should be charged for treason, and nothing less. If you are innocent, the SUE the the newspaper as well as the writer. Lastly, one should understand that even if these guys were NOT directly involved, there is some other person in the team who is working to malign Pakistan’s cricket team.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ziad
    Aug 31, 2010 - 3:47PM

    Yes yasser there is not truth in it. There is no truth in Sialkot Lynching either since it’s a fake video. Remember this is the same media that came out with the fake swat beating video . Recommend

  • talha
    Aug 31, 2010 - 3:58PM

    I think if Salman, asif, aamir and kamran are innocent then they should come forward and sue against the newspaper. They should say no to it.
    Secondly the way four of them responded looks very funny and obvious. Their face expressions were very clear and guilty. I wish if all of this were fake but I feel from my inner self that they are the part of the game and the crime.

    God bless them and God bless the game of cricket.Recommend

  • Ashraf Khan
    Aug 31, 2010 - 4:12PM

    I agree with KM. If our players are innocent, and we presume innocence till someone is proven otherwise, then they should immediately sue the paper. If there are some skeletons in the cupboard, then they should come forward, admit it and call it quits. I like the idea of the legal counsel of the PCB provided that that is put into operation.Recommend

  • Ahmed Ali
    Aug 31, 2010 - 4:25PM

    Libel actions brought against the News of the World

    * In 2005, England footballer David Beckham and his wife Victoria brought a legal action against the paper seeking libel damages over an article that carried the headline: "Posh and Becks on the Rocks." The legal action was withdrawn in 2006 and "resolved on a confidential basis," according to the couple's spokeswoman Jo Milloy.
    * In April 2006, England footballer Wayne Rooney received £100,000 in damages from the publishers of The News of the World and its sister paper The Sun over articles falsely reporting he had slapped his then-fiancée and now wife, Coleen. Both had always denied the reports.
    * In June 2006, England footballer Ashley Cole received damages from the publishers of The News of the World over articles incorrectly alleging the footballer had used a mobile phone as a gay sex toy. Together with its sister paper The Sun, The News of the World paid Cole £100,000 to settle the case
    * In July 2006, a libel action brought by the Scottish politician Tommy Sheridan came to court in Edinburgh. Sheridan denied allegations, made by the newspaper in November 2004 and January 2005, that he had an affair, engaged in group sex and attended a swinger's club in Manchester. Sheridan won the case and was awarded £200,000 in damages. The newspaper intends to appeal against the jury's decision,[12] and has refused to pay out the money; Sheridan and several associates have been charged with perjury, but the case has not yet reached the courts.
    * In January 2010 Norwich City Football Club Started legal proceedings against the News of the World after they published an article, "Canaries on Brink" on 24 January 2010 claiming that the club had begun the processes of going into administration [13]
    * In February 2010, the Hollywood couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie made plans to sue the News of the World after it published allegations about their relationship.[14]
    Recommend

  • Asif
    Aug 31, 2010 - 4:32PM

    Yes I agree it is all a vast conspiracy. The floods were also a big conspiracy by RAW and MOSSAD.Recommend

  • mudassir mukhtar
    Aug 31, 2010 - 4:43PM

    there is a conspiracy behind all this spot-fixing if there was any spot-fixing in match and tell me how amir take 7 wickets, every one was happy at that time you all can see the match again. We all are seeing negative side dudes also da see positive side as well. Video can be made after match and simply pictures may be edited. Recommend

  • Ashraf Khan
    Aug 31, 2010 - 4:48PM

    I think the only solution is suing them in an English Court of law.Recommend

  • ghufran Ali
    Aug 31, 2010 - 5:07PM

    Two things:

    1, Why are we giving these guys a media trial before the verdict? Isn’t that what we have Geo for?
    2, Match-fixing and scamming is bad but ripping off an entire country with millions of dollars worth of aid, isn’t? How dare anyone point the finger at boys who are probably so illiterate that its easy to frame them into any situation, while we have an idiot of a president and parliament who could care a hoot about the money they siphon?

    And shame on you for publishing senseless photographs of chameleon-fans who burn effigies and turn over and yell ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ when the team colors walk the ground again. Shame on all of us for not giving the boys the benefit of the doubt. If anyone should be tried for treason, it should be the cricket board and all the idiotic croonies that make it up.

    Sincere piece of advice? Since Imran Khan can’t play politics, he should just take over the Pakistan Cricket Board – At least that’s something we KNOW he can do wonders with!Recommend

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 5:16PM

    Whole nation needs a team of psychologists. We are all going to go insane. Recommend

  • Sarfaraz
    Aug 31, 2010 - 6:46PM

    First came terrorist accusation. it was found to be false. then came floods. it was due to india’s terrorist activities (refer HAARP on internet), even then they are offering money to pakistan. we should not take this money after conspiracy. then came cricket betting scam. how can all these come together. obviously all three are conspiracy against islam and pakistan. video evidence is not good enough for us.Recommend

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 9:12PM

    strong textHighly dis-appointed performance and attitude by these smart players who have forgotten that their act will destroy them and they will be out to play cricket. They are young and energetics but arrested in the greedy game of money minting although they legal source of earning money but sorry they demonstrated very clever rather cheap person.Recommend

  • Ashutosh
    Aug 31, 2010 - 9:23PM

    May be they wanted to donate the booty to the flood victims. Seeing their good intention … give them something … like a heroic welcome …Recommend

  • Noman Khalid
    Aug 31, 2010 - 9:46PM

    I think it would really be approptiate to ban Pakistan from Cricket. Corruption is sunk into the very fibre of our nation and that is regretable. First, international teams were barred from playing any cricket in Pakistan and now this scandal. We have not learned anything and we should see a ban on Pakistan, perhaps that could stimulate the kind of accountability that is needed. Perhaps, than we could come out as Pakistan Loving and Cricket Loving team.

    A devastated FanRecommend

  • Yasir
    Sep 1, 2010 - 12:29AM

    I am really sad to see some comments here of our citizens. After so much has happened people still think these cricketers are innocent?? The problem in our society is corruption, cheating, lying, killings all are becoming a life style. Our generation now thinks that indulging themselves in such terrible acts they look very cooool. Come on people WAKEUP and stop supporting what is wrong. Do you still think that Floods were also conspiracy??Then the Sialkot incident was also consipiracy?? Then our corrupt leaders are also Consipiracy?? And what about the looting’s which occurred after the plane crash and floods, were those also done by other countries???? Stop blaming others,we must accept our mistakes and learn only in this way we can improve ourselves. Recommend

  • annoymous
    Sep 1, 2010 - 2:30AM

    these guys are guilty Recommend

  • Schazad
    Sep 1, 2010 - 3:24AM

    Where the hell is Kamran Akmal?? Throw him out of the team first. Down with him.Recommend

  • albanova@ymail.com
    Sep 1, 2010 - 6:13AM

    this is very embaracment for a cricketer match fixing newzs specialy on country level cricket .as far as my comments is concerned i think its an intrapment as iv u look the vedio at the club were someone showing a coat and claming that he s showing the money in the pocket .please remember any coat or blazer company made is on the left side .the guy might b showing him a trade mark ov the coat or the blazer and wen wahab give gud remarks on the material of the coat and style ov the coat the other guy just offer the blazer or coat az a gift secondly there are many agencies behind alwyz to blacklist our main players please identify thye under cover repoter for nationality and from where he got he got this idae these pakistani players and what is his source taht he approached mazahr majeed and ask for this dirty job and what connection majeed has in pakistani team and since how long .please notice also the vbideo recording dates and time frrom the criminal laboratary it is also possible money has been kept in there room for a trap and az u no amir has done six wicket this is the world record on loardz ground in england .i hope the scottland police will go in deep and find out the facts before any final decision and facts wid all kind ov evidence phyusica;l and video relations telephone taping and expert comments from the senior empire from the cricket board and the bail out reason of mazhr majeed i doubt mazhr majeed is not original pakistani ,please find out abou hiz nationality and his agency.it could b possible dat one day series and t twenty is one ov the reasons ov diz whole senario i hope i clear ma points and indian newz agencies is claiming that the captain ov england team has said that one day series coud b washed out due to raeson iv dare is any kind ov evidence dat indain team has said tthat about diz one day series washed out please prove it .and dont put any commentz from ur stomach this is advise to zee tv and star plus .cricket is a sports and i hope diz sports will remain til end iv diz wrld play clean think clean and alwyz see the da factz b4 ani cmmntz cuz it relli hurts thank you.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ali MD
    Sep 1, 2010 - 6:17AM

    Well it does`nt really bother me anymore, I know what they are made of, they prove time to time where they are from. Becoz of these shenanigans I have stopped watching Pakistani cricket for sometime now, probably for years. What saddens me is the way our nation expresses itself, their signature BURNING THINGS way, burn posters, flags, shops, tires and the list goes on …. Seriously is this the only way … Recommend

  • Ali Khan
    Sep 1, 2010 - 9:17AM

    If I were innocent and this was a giant conspiracy I certainly would not be as passive as Salman Butt. I would be livid with the NOTW. Moreover, our own newspapers have been probing these issues at least since Sydney and brought up strange goings on in the current tour. As for the News of the World’s track record…. it is a tabloid and has been sued in the past but 9 times out of 10 it has come up with the goods in a sting operation. Finally…. why be so surprised that our cricketers should behave in this manner? Corruption is endemic in Pakistan. Why should these cricketers be any different?Recommend

  • AS Helium Pvt Ltd
    Sep 2, 2010 - 3:18PM

    heroesRecommend

  • AS Helium Pvt Ltd
    Sep 2, 2010 - 3:19PM

    ghufran ali is a heroRecommend

  • Rizwan
    Sep 6, 2010 - 4:20PM

    I Just Want to say that When Any Pakistani Top Player Came into the Picture or in a good ranking the British loby & the Indian Loby always make conspiracy against these players.The Recent Scandle against Muhammaed Aamer, Muhammad Asif & Sulman Butt is the Whole Drama is totally false.Recommend

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