More fitting fixing punishments than time in a prison cell

Originally published in the Mirror Click here

Contrary to popular perception, this has actually been a good week for Salman Butt. He finally has his Internet banking password that’ll never let him get caught with a stash of cash under his bed again.

As for Mohammed Asif, whatever the punishment, it can hardly test a man whose past includes failing a dope test, being in a relationship with Veena Malik, getting whacked on the thigh by Shoaib Akhtar, and getting caught in Dubai airport with hashish in his wallet. Expecting him to lose sleep over the latest episode is like expecting someone to fear playing Vinay Kumar after having faced Brett Lee, Dale Steyn and Dolly Bindra.

The third, Mohammed Amir, is probably young enough to take this as a lesson in life.

But the guilty verdict in the London court has dealt an almost irreparable blow to Pakistan cricket. Mohammed Amir – a precocious talent with pace, control and swing; Mohammed Asif – a lethal swinger who could send it both ways; Salman Butt – a captain who could speak English.

Pakistan may never see this combination play together again.

Isn’t Jail too harsh?

While the guilty should definitely be punished, there are doubts over whether going to jail for a sports crime is completely justified.

Most people believe their punishment, apart from the ban, should be related to the cricket.

Some suggestions being thrown by legal luminaries include
• Physical torture by reflecting bright lights off Kamran Akmal’s teeth straight into their eyes
• Giving a bath to Munaf Patel
• Watching a match between Mumbai Indians and King’s XI Punjab with Nita Ambani on one side and Preity Zinta on the other
• Counting every currency note Sharad Pawar has in his possession
• Watching in ultra slow motion Jonathon Trott and Alistair Cook bat together (Human rights activists have opposed this suggestion)
• Rubbing the lipstick and blush off Stuard Broad’s face (Women’s rights activists have opposed this suggestion)

A Bollywood movie

Did you know that Salman Butt’s son was born about an hour before the jury announced their verdict?

Imagine a movie that starts with the court pronouncing the national cricket team captain guilty of match fixing and his son being born in a hospital right at that time. The boy grows up to be a cricketer, becomes captain of the national side, infiltrates the bookie nexus, unearths the plot that wrongly brought his father down, and clears his name on the same night that he wins the world cup. Now, wouldn’t that be a great premise for a mediocre Bollywood film?

The plot has caught the attention of some of Bollywood’s biggest producers.

Karan Johar is amongst those interested in the story albeit with minor changes like changing the no-balls to wides. Contrary to expectations, Karan doesn’t want Shahrukh Khan to play Salman Butt. Instead, he wants him to play the umpire.

Given that the chances of success of a Shahrukh Khan movie is directly proportional to the number of times he stretches his arms wide, the 23 wides that Shahrukh will be required to signal will assure box office numbers, Johar thinks. Genius!

The other Khan – Salman – is also interested in the script. He’s especially interested in playing the character of the infant son, which gives him ample opportunities to appear shirtless in the film.

But the man who’s likely to pip all of them and release the movie first is Ram Gopal Verma who has already decided the number of angles from which Nisha Kothari’s item number will be shot.

He has kept the date of release under wraps, although film pundits already know the date on which it’ll be go off theatres – exactly three days after its release.

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