Asif will fight to clear name – lawyer

Asif, 29, was handed a jail sentence at Southwark Crown Court in London in November last year, along with team-mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir, after being found guilty of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments over deliberate no-balls bowled during the Lord’s Test between Pakistan and England in August 2010.

“Asif’s release is a matter of few hours and I look forward to meeting him and helping him in his legal fight to restore what was an otherwise brilliant reputation he once had,” Asif’s lawyer Ravi Sukul told Pakistani TV channel Geo.

Asif and Butt denied the charges against them in court while Amir, who was released in February after serving half of a six-month sentence, pleaded guilty. Asif received a seven-year ban (with two years suspended) from playing cricket by the ICC in February 2011. Butt, who is currently serving a 30-month jail sentence, was banned for ten years (with five suspended), while Amir got five years.

Mazhar Majeed, the agent who was accused of setting up the deal that was uncovered by a newspaper sting operation, was imprisoned for 32 months.

Sukul added that Asif could stay in England while he explores the possibility of launching an appeal. “I have a strong belief that if certain procedures had been applied in Asif’s benefit at his trial, they could have persuaded the jury to come to a different conclusion,” Sukul said.

Asif has previously indicated that he will appeal the ICC ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. His appeal against his prison term was rejected last November by the Lord Chief Justice.


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