Two Pakistani cricketers accused of spot-fixing have lost court appeals against their convictions. Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir were sentenced this month after the scandal in August 2010 and had hoped to reduce their sentences of two-and-half-years and six months respectively. Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, commented that the two had “betrayed their team, their country and followers of the game” and that Butt, in particular, was a “malign influence.”
Fixing was first alleged by former Sunday tabloid the News of the World. They had taped conversations saying that the two above, plus bowler Mohammad Asif, would fix the test with England by the bowling of no balls at certain times. A judge found all three guilty and it sent a strong message to those attempting to fix sports fixtures.
Seven tracks have made it onto a Horsemen’s Group Blacklist after failing a number of tests. The tracks affected, all National Hunt, are Newcastle, Folkestone, Leicester, Lingfield Park, Catterick, Hexham and Towcester. The group, representing racing’s five major bodies, set up the Tariff test to work out which courses fulfill the group’s twin aims of sustainable prize money and a balanced race programme. Alan Morecombe, chief executive of the Horsemen’s Group, will advise members not to run horses at the tracks cited until they do more to conform to the new guidelines. It means the tracks need to provide more prize money or face a boycott.
David Haye is edging towards a return to the ring with the other Klitschko in his crosshairs. Negotiations are at an advanced stage for the former Heavyweight champion to face the older brother Vitali in March 2012. The British fighter was disappointing in losing by a majority decision to Wladimir earlier this year, who took his chance to twist the knife, saying: “David Haye walks around with a battered ego. He cannot even hold his head high in his own country, because he embarrassed himself when we fought, and showed that he was a chicken for 12 rounds.”
The fight hinges on a British TV deal with Haye not receiving anything close to the 50-50 deal he got last time out. We will know more once Wladimir’s next fight on December 10 concludes.