Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif have both been found guilty of conspiracy to cheat (unanimously) and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments (by a 10-2 majority). It was also revealed today that Mohammad Amir had pleaded guilty to the charges. Their sentences will be handed down later this week; Butt faces a maximum of seven years in prison.

I am glad to see that they were found guilty; any other verdict would have cast doubt on the ICC’s decision earlier this year. It is also a welcome change from the general dithering that has previously accompanied fixing allegations. I’m not convinced that it is a good idea for the courts to meddle in a case of sport, but in this case it did work out well.

I do hope, however, that the jail sentences are not harsh. I doubt that they will act as a deterrent more than the existing bans would. What I would like is for the ICC to use this to enforce the suspended aspect of the bans, but that does not seem feasible. Hopefully this is the end of the matter and in future we will not have to question every dropped catch. I’m not sure how feasible that is either.

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