Karachi: Pakistan's cricket community today described the punishments handed out to Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir as a "black day" for the nation and hoped that the jail terms for the trio will serve as a deterrent.
Butt was sentenced to two and a half years, Asif was handed a one-year term, while the 19-year-old Amir was sentenced to six months for their involvement in spot-fixing, making them the first cricketers ever to be imprisoned for corruption.
Player's agent Mazhar Majeed was sentenced to two years and eight months by Judge Jeremy Cooke of the Southwark Crown Court in London.
"It is a black day for Pakistan cricket. It is the worst day of my life as a Pakistani player. But they deserved the punishments for letting the nation and the sport down," former captain Rashid Latif said.
He hoped that the historic judgments passed by the court would deter the next generation of players from getting involved in corruption.
"One does feel sad but when you try to corrupt and deface a lovely sport this is what happens. Today these players are crying but they should have thought about what they were doing when they were doing it," he added.
Latif said that the Pakistan government and the PCB should also take action against the players.
Former Test captain, Moin Khan said he was expecting the punishments.
"It is a sad day for Pakistan cricket but I think the authorities now need to take a fresh look at world cricket in light of this case," he said. Another former captain, Zaheer Abbas was satisfied that players who indulged in corruption were punished, but felt sorry for the people of Pakistan.
"The Pakistani people including myself today face a embarrassing day because of this case. It is a black day. Who would have thought that cricketers would ever be sent to jail for spot-fixing," he said.
Ex-skipper Ramiz Raja also felt the decision would act as a deterrent for the future players.
"Absolutely the decision is hard one for the families of the three cricketers. Justice has been done and you got to get rid of the corrupt elements from the game. The verdict will act as a great deterrent for future aspirants. These big fishes need to be taken to task.
"Even though there was sympathy for Amir he was quietly and secretly given a chance by the ICC to come up clean before the trail began but he didn't. As a result he his behind the bars as well. He would have learned his lessons but it's a hard way to learn, especially when you are 18 or 19," Raja said.
Former Test batsman, Basit Ali said the judgments and the spot-fixing trial itself posed serious questions about the role of the Anti-Corruption Unit of the ICC.
"What is the ACU doing that is the question that such a big scandal could break out and happened under their noses. The ICC and member boards need to review their working," he added.
Basit said the judgment passed on the players was a stigma on Pakistan cricket and would not be washed away for a long time.
While television channels showed the father and brothers of Amir weeping and shaking their heads in disbelief, Butt's father was defiant.