Judge to announce sentences for Pakistan trio on Thursday

Salman Butt at the Southwark Crown Court in London on Wednesday AFP

London: Nov 2, 2011

The judge, who convicted the three Pakistan cricketers and their agent for spot-fixing, on Wednesday deferred the pronouncement of sentences for Thursday after the lawyers pleaded for leniency in the quantum of punishment.

Judge Jeremy Cooke said after a day-long hearing filled with drama that he would announce sentences to former Test captain Salman Butt, fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir and their agent Majhar Majeed tomorrow.

The announcement came after the lawyers of the four convicted pleaded not to hand harsh punishments but only the minimum sentences to their clients.

Majeed’s lawyer pointed fingers on Butt saying that the former Test captain was the main culprit in the betting scam.

“In the summer of 2009, it was Butt who initiated a discussion with Majeed for a possible fixing in the Twenty20 World Cup in England (which Pakistan won). He (Butt) told Majeed that he can ask his players to do spot-fixing,” Majeed’s lawyer told the court.

Majeed’s lawyer also said that Butt gave his client a telephone number of allegedly an Indian by the name of Sanjay.

“Majeed met Sanjay at a hotel in Parkland in Central London and discussed about any possible gambling during the Twenty20 World Cup in England but finally turned out to be a non-starter,” he said.

He also said that Sanjay was in regular touch with Majeed during Pakistan’s tour of England last year during which the spot-fixing scandal came to rock the cricketing world. (PTI)