Pakistan Cricketer Mohammad Asif Freed After Fixing Scam Sentence
As Reported by The BBC
Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Asif, one of three jailed for a fixing scam, has been released after serving half of a 12-month sentence, his lawyer says.
Asif, 29, the former world number two Test bowler, was freed from Canterbury Prison in Kent on Thursday morning.
In November, Asif and team-mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir were jailed for a plot to bowl deliberate no balls in a Test match against England in 2010.
All three players were also given five-year playing bans.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said it did not comment on individuals.
“Foreign national offenders released from prison on licence will be supervised by probation for as long as they remain in this country,” he said.
The fixing scandal came to light when an undercover News of the World reporter approached sports agent Mazhar Majeed, who was also jailed for his role, pretending to be a wealthy Indian businessman seeking players for a tournament.
Majeed promised him that Asif and Amir would deliver three no-balls at specific points during the Test between Pakistan and England at Lord’s on 26-29 August 2010, and claimed to have been fixing games for over two years, with seven Pakistan players working for him.
At Southwark Crown Court in November, ex-Test captain Salman Butt, 27, was jailed for two-and-a-half years for his role as the “orchestrator” of the plot.
Explaining why he had bowled a no-ball when Majeed said he would, Asif alleged that Butt had told him to “run faster” moments before his delivery.
The trial judge, Mr Justice Cooke, said there was no evidence that Asif had taken part in fixing before the Lord’s match but added: “It is hard to see how this could be an isolated occurrence for you.”
Asif took his 100th Test wicket during Pakistan’s 2010 series in England.
He had run into controversy before. He twice tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug nandrolone and was held in Dubai for 19 days in 2008 after opium was found in his wallet.
Mohammad Amir was released from jail in February.