Pakistani Amir freed from jail after spot-fixing

Friday, 3 February 2012 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir was freed from a British jail on Wednesday after serving half of a six-month sentence for taking part in a spot-fixing scandal that shook the world of cricket last year.

The 19-year-old was released early from a young offenders’ institution in Dorset, southern England, said a source who declined to be identified.

Amir was jailed in November after pleading guilty to conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments.

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and paceman Mohammad Asif were found guilty of taking part in the same spot-fixing plot and were jailed for 30 months and one year respectively.

The trio were part of a conspiracy to bowl no-balls at pre-arranged times during a test match against England at Lord’s in August 2010.

The Pakistanis were charged after an undercover reporter with a British newspaper recorded sports agent Mazhar Majeed boasting of how he could arrange for players to rig games for money.

Majeed said he had been carrying out match-fixing for more than two years, had seven players from the Pakistan team working for him and had made “masses and masses of money”.

The agent was secretly filmed accepting 150,000 pounds in cash from the journalist as part of an arrangement to fix games.

Amir agreed to bowl two no-balls on August 26, 2010 although he had only delivered one by the time rain stopped play.

He then bowled another no-ball the following day, a London court heard.

During sentencing, judge Jeremy Cooke said Amir was “unsophisticated, uneducated and impressionable” compared to the other defendants.

“You were only 18 at the time and readily lent on by others,” the judge told the court. “I am clear that you bear less responsibility than your captain.”

The court also heard 1,500 pounds in marked banknotes, which came from the newspaper reporter, was found in Amir’s possession.

Judge Cooke added there was evidence from telephone calls and text messages that Amir had discussed spot-fixing at another London venue, the Oval.

The International Cricket Council banned the three players for a minimum of five years.