Cricket: Guilty Pakistanis shamed the sport: prosecutors

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Three Pakistan cricketers who were guilty of fixing parts of matches for money brought shame on their sport with their serious criminal misdeeds, England's CPS state prosecutors said Tuesday.

Ex-Test captain Salman Butt and strike bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif "deliberately and knowingly perverted the course of a cricket match for financial gain," a spokeswoman said.

"Through their actions, they brought shame on the cricketing world, jeopardising the faith and admiration of cricket fans the world over," said Sally Walsh, senior lawyer in the Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism Division of the Crown Prosecution Service.

"This prosecution shows that match fixing is not just unsportsmanlike but is a serious criminal act.

"The actions of these top international players went against everything expected of someone in their position, and they failed to take into account their fans of all ages and nationalities when deciding to abandon the values of sportsmanship so unconditionally."

The charges related to the deliberate bowling of no-balls in a match between hosts England and Pakistan in August last year.

Aamer admitted charges of conspiracy to cheat and to accept corrupt payments, while Butt and Asif pleaded not guilty.

"People who had paid good money to see a professional and exciting game of cricket on the famous ground at Lord's had no idea that what they were watching was not a true game but one where part of the game had been pre-determined for cash," Walsh said.

"Butt and Asif denied any wrongdoing but the jury has decided after hearing all the evidence that what happened on the crease that day was criminal in the true sense of the word."

© 2011 AFP

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