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Shamed cricketer Butt out of jail
Disgraced former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt has been released from prison early, his lawyers have confirmed.
The ex-Test captain was jailed for 30 months at Southwark Crown Court in November for match-fixing. But he was released on Wednesday night, according to is lawyers, 25 Bedford Row.
The 27-year-old was the orchestrator of a plot to bowl deliberate no-balls in the Lord's Test against England last summer.
His teammates Mohammad Asif, 29, and Mohammad Amir, 19, were also jailed for bowling the fraudulent no-balls, but have since been released. Former world number two Test bowler Asif was freed from Canterbury Prison last month after serving half his sentence. Amir, who had been tipped to become one of the all-time great fast bowlers, was released from Portland Prison in Dorset in February after serving half of his six-month sentence.
Mazhar Majeed, 36, the corrupt London-based sports agent at the heart of the fixing scandal, was jailed for two years and eight months.
All three players are serving five-year bans from cricket imposed by the International Cricket Council.
It is believed Butt has been deported because he was freed under the early removal scheme, which allows foreign nationals to be released up to nine months before their normal release date as long as they are deported.
A Prison Service spokeswoman said: "We do not comment on the release date of individual prisoners. Under the early removal scheme, foreign national prisoners may be removed up to nine months before their normal release date, providing they are being deported from the UK."
Butt's lawyers said the opening batsman was leaving for Pakistan on Thursday and was expected to land in the early hours of Friday morning local time.
Butt's barrister, Yasin Patel, said the cricketer was "tired and jaded" but would begin his efforts to return to the sport.