R v Amir & Butt [2011] EWCA Civ 2914

  • Simon Gardiner
Part of the ASSER International Sports Law Series book series (ASSER)


The Court of Appeal’s decision opened with the following paragraph: “This is a notorious and essentially simple case.” Three men who had the represented Pakistan in test match cricket took bribes. Mohammad Amir and Salman Butt were two of those players. Butt, in his mid-twenties at the material time, was the captain of the Pakistan team which toured Britain during the summer of 2010. Mohammad Amir, in his late teens, was described as “a prodigious young cricket talent with huge potential.” The third cricketer was Mohammad Asif. The three cricketers agreed with a fourth man, Mazhar Majeed, who was resident in England and was the agent for Butt and Asif, that “no balls” would be bowled at specific identified moments in a test match against England at Lords which took place at the end of August 2010. As agreed, three “no balls” were bowled, two by Amir and one by Asif, in a betting scam called “spot fixing”. The cricketers were corruptly paid for their actions. These events were first revealed in the context of an investigation by a newspaper, the News of the World, into possible corruption in international cricket and the profits to be made by criminals involved in arranging, and gambling on, “spot-fixes”. On 16 September 2011, in the Crown Court trial before Cooke J, Amir pleaded guilty to conspiracy to accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat. On 1 November 2011, Butt was convicted by a jury of the same offences. On 3 November they were sentenced as follows: Butt, to two years six months’ imprisonment for the first offence and two years’ imprisonment for the second, to run concurrently; and Amir, to six months’ detention in a young offender institution on each count, to run concurrently. Asif was convicted by the jury on the same day as Butt and was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment on each count, to run concurrently. On 16 September 2011, Mazhar Majeed had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to give corrupt payments—that is the corrupt payments accepted by Butt, Amir and Asif—and to conspiracy to cheat. He too was sentenced on 3 November to two years eight months’ imprisonment and 16 months’ imprisonment, the sentences to run concurrently. Butt and Amir appealed against sentence. Both appeals were dismissed, as discussed below.


Arbitral Tribunal Test Match Corrupt Activity Gambling Industry Custodial Sentence 
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Copyright information

© T.M.C. ASSER PRESS, The Hague, The Netherlands, and the author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leeds Metropolitan UniversityLeedsUK

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