Cricket: Profiles of Butt, Asif and Aamer

1st November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were found guilty Tuesday of taking part in a "spot-fixing" betting scam, while Mohammad Aamer admitted his involvement.

Here are profiles of the trio, who are facing sentencing at London's Southwark Crown Court later this week.

The charges were conspiracy to cheat at gambling and conspiring to obtain and accept corrupt payments.

SALMAN BUTT (Left-handed opening batsman)

Age: 27

Tests: 33; Runs: 1,889; Highest score: 122; Average: 30.46; 100s: 3; 50s: 10

ODIs: 78; Runs: 2,725; Highest score: 136; Average: 36.82; 100s: 8; 50s: 14

T20s: 24; Runs: 595; Highest score: 74; Average: 28.33; 50s: 3

-- Butt was handed the Test captaincy after Shahid Afridi quit following a one-sided defeat against Australia at Lord's in July last year.

Pakistan defeated Australia in the next match by three wickets at Leeds -- their first win over the Aussies for 15 years -- and hopes of a new era were high.

Emerging from the streets of Lahore, Butt represented Pakistan at all levels, leading Pakistan to the Asian Under-15 title in 1999 and then impressing in the Junior World Cup in 2002.

His brilliant, match-winning 108 not out in a one-day match against India at Kolkata in November 2004 set his career on the right track and although he flitted in and out of the squad, his talent was never in doubt.

Under former coach Bob Woolmer, Butt's career flourished with hundreds at Sydney in January 2005 and against Ashes-winning England at Multan in November 2005.

His third and last Test ton came at Hobart in January 2010.

MOHAMMAD ASIF (Right arm fast-medium bowler)

Age: 28

Tests: 23; Balls: 5,171; Runs: 2,583; Wickets: 106; Best bowling: 6/41; Average: 24.36; 5wkt inns: 7; 10wkt matches: 1

ODIs: 38; Balls: 1,941; Runs 1,524; Wickets: 46; Best bowling: 3/28; Average 33.13

T20s: 11; Balls: 257; Runs: 343; Wickets: 13; Best bowling: 4/18; Average: 26.38

-- It was under Pakistan's English coach Bob Woolmer that Asif blossomed as a swing bowler.

Woolmer picked him for Pakistan's tour to Australia and although Asif went wicketless on his debut Test in Sydney in 2005, he never lost faith in the lithe and determined fast bowler.

Asif claimed 10 wickets in a Pakistan A against an England XI later that year and was brought back into the national side for Pakistan's final Test against India at home in 2006.

He took seven wickets in the win over India -- including the prized wicket of Sachin Tendulkar -- at Karachi, helping Pakistan clinch the series.

He followed it with 11 victims in Pakistan's Test win at Kandy, taking 17 wickets in the two Tests against Sri Lanka. His 'five-for' also helped Pakistan beat South Africa in the Port Elizabeth Test in 2007.

Following a series of disciplinary problems, an elbow injury forced him out of the 2007 World Cup.

In England last year, he took 23 wickets in six Tests -- two against Australia and four against the hosts.

MOHAMMAD AAMER (Left arm fast bowler)

Age: 19

Tests: 14; Balls: 2,867; Runs: 1,484; Wickets: 51; Best bowling: 6/84; Average: 29.09; 5wkt innings: 3

ODIs: 15; Balls: 789; Runs: 600; Wickets: 25; Best bowling: 4/28; Average: 24.00

T20s: 18; Balls: 390; Runs: 457; Wickets: 23; Best bowling: 3/23; Average: 19.86

- Aamer shot to fame in his first year as an international when his exploits led to comparisons with legendary Pakistan left-arm paceman Wasim Akram.

The teenager played a key role in guiding Pakistan to the World Twenty20 title in 2009 -- the first time he was included in Pakistan's senior team.

His 5-79 at Melbourne in 2009 and then seven wickets in Pakistan's sensational first Test win over Australia in 15 years at Leeds in July last year earned praise from former Pakistan captain Imran Khan.

"Aamer is an amazing talent," Khan said. "I have watched him closely and I can say that he is streets ahead of Wasim when he was 18."

Wasim, who spotted Aamer in a coaching clinic in 2006, didn't disagree.

"Aamer is certainly cleverer than me when I was 18," said Wasim.

After squaring their two-Test series against Australia, Pakistan then faced England and former home captain Nasser Hussain warned his team of the potential danger, pinpointing Aamer as the "Sultan of Swing".

Aamer did swing his team's fortunes with 5-52 to finish with man-of-the-match honours in the four-wicket win at The Oval as Pakistan reduced the series deficit to 2-1.

In the controversial last Test at Lord's, Aamer destroyed England with a burst of six wickets on day two.

He was Pakistan's best bowler in the series, taking 19 wickets at an average of 18.36, and, aged 18, became the youngest bowler to take 50 Test wickets.

© 2011 AFP

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