Stories about Salman Butt

Did you buy Mohammad Amir’s story?

I want to. I really want to. I want to believe that Mohammad Amir is an innocent 18-year-old boy who was set up by his friend and captain – his fixer. But I can’t. There are a lot of things about Mohammad Amir’s interview that are bothering me. I feel like we are being told a story that is not true. I feel like we, Pakistani cricket fans, are being lied to… again. Since the interview aired, I’ve heard a wide variety of thoughts from the general public and Twitterati. One section feels sorry for the kid and believes that he was truly ...

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A second chance for Amir

For a long time, I was so gutted by what Mohammad Amir did that I felt his crime was unforgivable. He had been with the team for a year; a year of travelling, a lot of learning and a lot of guidance. But I guess the guidance came from all the wrong quarters; Salman Butt was his best friend on the Pakistan cricket team, as he once claimed during the World T20 in the West Indies. And that friendship cost him. Did anyone expect a street-smart character like Amir to be so gullible? Was he so innocent that he just got sucked ...

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Defining moments of cricket in 2011

From cricketers being put in the slammer for spot-fixing to Shane Warne returning to play cricket – this year has seen it all. Here is my list of the top ten defining moments of cricket in 2011. 10) Ponting hands the reigns to Micheal Clarke It is hard to sympathize with Ponting considering that he is the captain who led his side to the most wins and has lifted the World Cup twice. But the writing was on the wall after the first Ashes defeat for Australia in 24 years, and the first time that a team had lost three matches by ...

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Zulqarnain Haider: Cricketer, whistle-blower and hero

At the spot-fixing trial of Mohammad Asif, Salman Butt, and Mohammad Amir, the most startling piece of news came towards the end. According to various reports, the lion’s share of the spot fixing money, distributed by now disgraced sports agent, Mazhar Majeed, went to cricketer Mohmmad Asif. The question immediately begged itself, why did the majority of the money go to one cricketer? BBC’s Gordon Farquhar speculates in his blog: “He said £2,500 went to Amir, £10,000 to Butt, who was looking wretched in the dock at this point, and £65,000 to Asif. Asif? The man who said in his defence the no-ball was ...

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Maybe they forgot it wasn’t Pakistan…

The conviction of Pakistani cricket players in a UK court is truly embarrassing for the nation in general and for cricket followers in particular. So what should we do next? Should we close the chapter and move on? I think we should stop, step back a little and view the entire episode in the larger context. I see it as a symptom of a disease that has spread far and deep across the length and breadth of the country. When you keep on brushing filth under the carpet for too long, it sometimes finds its way out. The spot-fixing trio ...

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Spot-fixing: Not even an iota of delight

Covering cricket as a journalist snatches away the innocence and exuberance instilled into one’s life as a fan, in the days preceding the time when you don’t have to pay for tickets anymore or when the very figures you’d yearn to meet and speak to, become your friends. You call each other by name, handshakes don’t have the same value anymore, food and drinks are shared and, perhaps a minor glitch of the job, the holiness of a player tones down to a meek normalcy, an act unimaginable when it all started. You forget that once upon a time, in front ...

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Stop dissing Pakistan cricket

The Salman, Amir and Asif case is over now. The so-called ‘cricket experts’ should know that whatever the trio did was in their personal capacity and nothing was backed by the government or by the people of Pakistan. Hansie Cronje, Azharuddin, Ajay Sharma, Ajay Jadeja, Salim Malik, Ata ur Rehman, Maurice Odumbe, Marlon Samuels, Mark Waugh, Shane Warne, Brian Lara, Aravinda De Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga from different nationalities have also been in close contact with bookies. Few of them have also faced life bans and heavy fines as they were either involved in match/spot fixing or in giving ...

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Is “hang ’em all” always the answer?

Working as a part of the web team at The Express Tribune has given me  exposure to peoples’ reactions online which always tend to take me by surprise. However, during this week, after the spot-fixing verdict story was shared on Facebook, I was more than just a little surprised by the harsh, emotional and blunt responses that came from a majority of readers. They were thirsty for the trio’s blood – literally. One commenter, Usama Zulfiqar, proposed capital punishment for the players which began a flood of comments that agreed with him – most readers were demanding Asif and Butt ...

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Spot-fixing: Will PCB investigate others?

In light of the convictions of the three Pakistani cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir the most important course of action for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the International Cricket Council (ICC) is to not sweep the remaining garbage under the rather large and dirty carpet available to the world of cricket. Repeatedly, throughout the trial, and even before, there was the ubiquitous presence of Kamran Akmal around Salman Butt and Mazhar Majeed. Now Majeed has disclosed that another ‘un-named’ Pakistani cricketer also met him along with Butt to discuss the possibilities of spot-fixing way back in 2009. ...

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Tainted trio: Getting what they deserve

No matter how hard Pakistan tries, controversy seems to dog its footsteps. It was a historic day for cricket as a major judgement came forth regarding the spot-fixing scandal.  The verdict: Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif have been sentenced to 30 months and one year in jail respectively, whereas Muhammad Amir, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced to six months. The once loved cricketers were found guilty of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments. This is such a massive and unnecessary tragedy that an already depressed nation did not need to suffer. What is even more tragic is that the trio had tremendous ...

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