Ali Bacher hails trio jailing
Cape Town - Former South African cricket boss Ali Bacher has hailed the sending of three Pakistan cricketers and an agent to prison as a "watershed for corruption in cricket".
"I believe this is a watershed for corruption in cricket," Bacher told the Cape Times in an article published on Friday.
"There have been allegations and innuendos as far back as the 1990s. It is now spot-fixing, it was known as spread betting back then. I had brought it up as far back as 1996 at ICC meetings, and the discussions only lasted for 10 minutes without it ever being minuted. There was never concrete evidence though and this is what makes this such a watershed."
Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt received 30 months, the longest term of the three players.
Mohammad Asif was sentenced to one year, while 19 year-old Mohammad Aamer will serve six months for their involvement in one of the biggest fixing scandals to tarnish the sport in its 134-year Test history.
Agent Mazhar Majeed was sentenced to 2 years, 8 months. All four may be released for good behaviour after serving half their terms.
The players were convicted of conspiring with Majeed to bowl deliberate no-balls as part of a betting scam during the Test match against England at Lord’s in August last year.
Amir and Majeed had pleaded guilty to the charges of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments. Butt and Asif were found guilty on Tuesday after a 22-day trial.
It is the biggest fixing scandal in cricket since South Africa captain Hansie Cronje was banned for life in 2000 for taking bribes from bookies.
Bacher, then chief of South Africa’s cricket body, testified in Cronje’s trial.