November 5, 2011

Pakistan’s tainted trio get away with token punishments

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By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Pakistan’s former cricketers, Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir, have been jailed for two and a half years, one year and six months respectively by London’s Crown Court on November 3.

It has been described as a Black Day for Pakistan as it’s for the first time than any cricketer has been sent to prison after being proven guilty of spot-fixing/match-fixing. It was a high profile cricket corruption whose proceedings lasted for 18 days in the London court.

The judgment didn’t come as any surprise and it had seemed a matter of time for these cricketers to be dispatched behind the bars at the strength of high quality of evidence that was believed to be available with the court. In fact many people reckon that these players have been given a let-off with a token punishment.

It’s quite extraordinary to learn that at least two of these cricketers, Salman and Asif, have planned to appeal against the decision. This move looks like asking for a review when a batsman has been clean bowled.

The cricket community in Pakistan is not surprised but certainly disturbed. The people who were misled into believing that these ‘naughty’ cricketers were falsely implicated in a criminal case have also realized that they were oblivious of the facts.

It’s amazing that the family members of these cricketers are coming up with strange comments, offering excuses and explanations that are not being taken seriously because they lack conviction. Neither of these cricketers were babies or kids. All of them, on the contrary, have had very stormy career and their ambitious nature was known openly.

Salman’s sister came on the air. Then we saw his father. Aamir’s mother also gave an interview claiming that her son was implicated or influenced. Either these family members are indeed unaware of the realities or they are making an attempt to gain public sympathy with such emotional statements.

They should know that their ‘worthy’ sons and brothers have harmed the national interest, brought the game to disrepute and broken the hearts of millions of people who certainly can’t be fooled any more.

The International Cricket Council (ICC), who had already banned these cricketers, is likely to come into action to examine the case again in light of the evidences produced in the London court.

It remains to be seen what the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) or the Government of Pakistan would decide once these cricketers return to the country, after their sentence in England.

There will be pressure on the PCB to impose life ban on all of them in order to prevent them from getting another chance of compromising on national interests. It would indeed be a criminal negligence if any of them is allowed to don the Pakistan blazer again.

The government can also move in and these cricketers could be tried for the criminal offence that hurt the sentiments of the people of Pakistan.

Whatever the family members of these cricketers might have to say the cricket circles are furious and they won’t let these guys stage a comeback in international cricket, even if they are pardoned by the official bodies at any stage.

No matter how young or uneducated Aamir may be, he’s also unlikely to play for Pakistan again while the careers of Asif and Salman already seem over.

3 comments

cindrella said...

good job done! keep it up man...

cindrella said...

good job done! keep it up man...

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