It’s a fair cop

The sentences in the spot-fixing trial were handed down today. Majeed is to be imprisoned for two years and eight months, Butt for two years and six months, Asif for one year and Amir for six months. Half of the sentences are suspended in each case.

I’ve stated earlier that I didn’t want to see long prison sentences, but I think these are fair. I’d have rather liked to see Amir avoid any jail time at all, though. The judge did make it clear that he considered the effect of the bans already handed down, but they were complicit in fraud. The impression I got from reading the judge’s statement was that the sentences were mainly for the fact that they did defraud bettors, and less for the disrepute brought onto cricket.

This is, I think, the correct course of action. It is not right that players be punished in a criminal court for cheating alone, that is a job for the governing body of the sport. Since the cheating in this case amounts to theft, however, it is reasonable that they be prosecuted for such. Since the prosecution focused on the no-balls and the judge could not determine the extent of the money that was defrauded, these seem like fair sentences. Going into the trial, I had hoped for less, but the judge laid out his reasons quite clearly and took the pleas and earlier bans into account. One can’t say fairer than that, and I doubt the players themselves could have too many complaints.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s