Asif loses match-fixing appeal

Pakistan paceman Mohammad Asif has lost his appeal over his match-fixing conviction.

Judges at the Court of Appeal in London said today that the 30-year-old former world number two Test bowler, who was released from jail in May last year after serving half of a 12-month sentence, did not have an arguable case for attacking his conviction.

He was one of three Pakistan cricketers who received custodial sentences at London's Southwark Crown Court in November 2011 over a scandal that rocked world sport.

Ex-captain Salman Butt was jailed for 30 months for his role as the ''orchestrator'' of a plot to bowl deliberate no-balls in the 2010 Lord's Test against England while Mohammad Amir, who had been tipped to become one of the all-time great fast bowlers, was detained for six months in a young offenders institution.

As a result of bans imposed by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the trio are barred from playing for five years.

Mazhar Majeed, the London-based sports agent at the heart of the scandal, was jailed for two years and eight months.

In November 2011, the Court of Appeal dismissed challenges brought by Butt and Amir against their sentences.

Lord Judge said at that time: "These three cricketers betrayed their team, they betrayed the country which they had the honour to represent and betrayed the sport that had given them their distinction - and of course betrayed all the very many followers of the game throughout the world.

"In exchange for the privilege and distinction of playing Test cricket, what was required of them was that at all times they should perform honestly and play to the best of their respective abilities - no more, and certainly no less.

"If for money, or any other external reward, it cannot be guaranteed that every Test player will play on the day the best he may, then the reality is that all the enjoyment for many millions of people around the world who watch cricket on television or at Test matches will eventually be destroyed."

Lord Judge, sitting with Mr Justice Openshaw and Mr Justice Griffith Williams, today rejected Asif's latest bid to challenge his conviction.

Giving the decision of the court, Mr Justice Griffith Williams said: "We are not persuaded that there are any grounds, arguable or otherwise, for attacking the safety of the convictions of this applicant. The renewed applications are accordingly dismissed."



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