Friday, 4 November 2011

Justice is blind but should not be served blindly: Spot fixing, Pakistani cricketers and the Bookie

I am appalled at the leniency of sentences handed down to Majeed Nawaz the bookie, Salman Butt the Captain, and Muhammad Asif the bowler. I am equally appalled at the harsh sentencing of Muhammad Amir the teenage victim of this saga.
Image design by Anam Haleem. Published on
Mr Justice Jeremy Cooke stated “These offences, regardless of pleas, are so serious that only a sentence of imprisonment will suffice”. I agree entirely, but sentencing Mazhar Majeed for only 32 months of which he will not serve half in jail is a travesty. Three cricketers have received additional punishments (and rightfully so) from ICC in the form of ban on their participation in all forms of cricket. Butt and Asif's cricketing careers are almost certainly over. But with his links to the underground Mafia, that runs the fixing business in sports, Mazhar Majeed will be back in business in no time looking for other cricketers to corrupt and matches to fix. He is the one who should have been made an example.

Amir is the young talent who has been hard done by the ICC and the British legal system. In Pakistani cricketing context a young prodigy would bowl a no ball on Captain's instructions whether there is money involved or not. Amir took money - from the socio-economic background he comes a few thousand pounds is a life changing sum of money. He did commit a crime in legal terms but his punishment (both by the ICC and the courts) is not proportionate to the crime committed. Justice is blind but should not be served blindly.