Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif are facing jail today after being found guilty of spot-fixing at the Lord’s Test match against England.
In dramatic scenes in a packed London courtroom, Butt and Asif stood stoney faced and impassive as the verdict was delivered by the six man, six woman jury, at the end of the 20-day trial.
They become the first cricketers to be criminally convicted for fixing and the first sportsmen to be convicted of on-field corruption in the UK since the 1960s.
The charges carry a maximum penalty of seven years in prison, and it is believed the two players may face short terms behind bars when the judge sentences them later this week.
The former captain and fast bowler appeared stunned as the foreman of the jury delivered the verdict after almost 17 hours of deliberation.
A unanimous verdict was reached on both cricketers on the charges of conspiring to cheat. A majority verdict of 10-2 was delivered on Butt being found guilty of conspiring to accept corrupt payments. The jury is still deliberating about Asif on that charge.
The convictions will bring to an end the scandal exposed by the News of the World, which stunned the cricket world when it emerged in August 2010. In the Southwark Crown Court trial, jurors were told the players were motivated by “greed” and had “betrayed” the game of cricket by contaminating it with “rampant corruption”.
The jury rejected the claims of Butt and Asif, who pleaded not guilty and said they knew nothing about the no balls conspiracy organised Mazhar Majeed. The agent was arrested and charged but was not part of this trial.
Follow RDJ Edwards in court on Twitter – @Cricketer_RDJ