Cricket: Players face jail term after match-fixing conviction

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Three of the world’s top cricketers could be jailed this week after being convicted of match-fixing.

Pakistan’s former Test captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir plotted to bowl deliberate no-balls in the Lord’s Test against England last summer as part of a lucrative betting scam. The trio were caught after an undercover reporter recorded UK-based sports agent Mazhar Majeed, 36, boasting of how he could arrange for Pakistan cricketers to rig games for money.

Butt, 27, and former world No. 2 Test bowler Asif, 28, were found guilty by a jury at London’s Southwark Crown Court of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments. Amir, a 19-year-old who was tipped to become one of the all-time great fast bowlers, admitted the same charges at a pre-trial hearing last month.

Butt, Asif and Amir will be sentenced over a two-day hearing today and tomorrow.