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Pakistani Cricketers in Scandal Are Two Vets and a Rookie


Two of the three Pakistani cricket players embroiled in an alleged betting scam on their team's tour of England are well-known veterans, while the third is a rising star.

Eighteen-year-old Mohammad Amir last week became the youngest cricket test bowler to take 50 wickets, bettering a 20-year-old mark held by compatriot Waqar Younis. He did it on the second day of the final test against England last Friday, one day before allegations of the match-fixing scandal were revealed.

Pakistani Cricketers in Scandal Are Two Vets and a Rookie

Pakistani Cricketers in Scandal Are Two Vets and a Rookie

Amir is a left-arm fast bowler who has come up rapidly through the ranks after being spotted at age 11. The youngest of seven children, he moved from his remote village of Gujjar Khan to a sports academy in Rawalpindi.

Amir played with Pakistan's under-19 side and made his test debut with the national team in July of last year against Sri Lanka. He has since played in 14 tests, taking 51 wickets for an average of 29.09

Pakistani Cricketers in Scandal Are Two Vets and a Rookie

Pakistani Cricketers in Scandal Are Two Vets and a Rookie

Salman Butt is 25-years-old and was appointed Pakistani cricket captain on July 17. The left-handed batsman's rise to the top came after Shahid Afridi announced his retirement from test cricket. Butt is the team's fifth skipper since January 2009.

After schooling in his home city of Lahore, Butt earned a place on the national under-17 team before selectors finally drafted him into the senior squad in 2003. He made his debut against Bangladesh.

His breakthrough came in 2004 when he scored his first one-day century against India and then went on to notch his maiden test century in Sydney later in the year. Butt has played in 33 Tests, scoring 1,889 runs at an average of 30.46, with a top score of 122.

Pakistani Cricketers in Scandal Are Two Vets and a Rookie

Pakistani Cricketers in Scandal Are Two Vets and a Rookie

27-year-old Mohammad Asif is a right-arm medium fast bowler. This is not the first time he has been embroiled in scandal and controversy.

Asif, from the poor, remote village of Sheikhupura, got his break in January 2005 against Australia after impressive play in Pakistan's domestic cricket league. But after bowling 18 overs without taking a wicket he was dropped from the team, only to return a year later.

He played under a lucrative contract in 2006 with Leicestershire in the English county championship, but Asif struggled to handle the pressure and tested positive for a banned steroid. He was given a one year ban but got it overturned on appeal.

Asif again failed a drug test in the inaugural Indian Premier League season in 2008 and this time a two-year ban stood. After that ban ended, Asif's career was hit by a scandal with a film star, who alleged he owed her huge amounts of money in debts.

But Asif promised he had reformed. In recent months he rose to the top of the International Cricket Council bowlers' rankings. In 23 career tests he has taken 106 wickets for an average of 24.36.

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