November 3, 2011 6 Comments
Former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were all handed prison sentences in a British court today, ranging from six months to 2½ years. Many observers have expressed shock and dismay that the trio are to be jailed at all for their role in the apparently minor offence of deliberately bowling three no-balls at pre-arranged times in a Test match against England at Lord’s last summer.
For many, though – myself included – it was a necessarily strong stance against the growing spectre of corruption in sport which threatens to undermine not just Pakistani cricket or indeed cricket as a whole, but the most fundamental principles of honest competition on which all sport is supposedly based. But what is even more important now is what the sport’s authorities do going forward in order to combat a problem to which they have turned a blind eye for several years.