It is like choosing between a lion and a snake to die. QC Ali Bajwa has made his defense rather too sincerely to confuse the jury members, which was to announce their verdict on Thursday but has to wait till Tuesday. Salman Butt and Mohammed Asif are under severe charge of cheating and corrupt payments regarding preplanning no balls in a Lords test against England in 2010.
Salman and Asif have both vehemently denied charges, Asif a tad more practically. They are no legal professionals and felt immense pressure during tough drilling and a string of sarcastic comments by prosecutor QC Aftab Jafferjee. Yet, they have posed enough problems and confusion for the jury not to reach on a unanimous verdict. The 12 members are bank-on on some points against either player but agree to differ in matters concerning both.
Butt’s agent Mazhar Majeed has been snapped taking payment of 150000 pounds from News of the World journalist. However, Asif was not present when his time to receive payment arrived. Salman has also given good enough explanations of the money found on his person as his daily fodder and some miscellaneous expense. Teenager Mohammed Aamer was also a part of the conspiracy and has accepted his charge. Incidentally, Aamer bowled the first delivery of 3rd over and Asif the last of 10th as no ball in a supposed preplanned arrangement. That has to involve the captain who decides whom to give the ball to. Salman was the skipper then and has passed these incidents as mere accidents although cricket history doesn’t support his agreement.
Justice Cooke has now decided to go for a majority verdict where any decision passed by 10 members would suffice. Butt and Asif would now hope that there is confusion even on that front at Southwark Crown Court, England.