Pakistan trio face British trial on May 20

Updated: 17 March 2011 20:09 IST

Three Pakistan cricketers accused of spot-fixing in a Test match against England last year were on Thursday ordered to face trial in a British court on May 20.

Pakistan trio face British trial on May 20

London:

Three Pakistan cricketers accused of spot-fixing in a Test match against England last year were on Thursday ordered to face trial in a British court on May 20.

 

Former captain Salman Butt, fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer and their agent will stand trial in Southwark Crown Court in London accused of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments.

 

They were greeted by a scrum of photographers as they arrived at City of Westminster Magistrates court for the hearing to set the trial date.

 

The trio and agent Mazhar Majeed were charged after being questioned by detectives over accusations in the News of the World newspaper that no-balls were deliberately bowled in the fourth Test match at Lord's in August.

 

The four men, dressed in suits and open-necked shirts, spoke only to confirm their names as they appeared in the glass-fronted dock.

 

Prosecutor Sally Walsh said they were accused of having "conspired together and with others unknown for £150,000 ($240,000) as inducement or reward to bowl three no-balls at the fourth Test".

 

She told the court the three players were accused of bowling three no-balls "for the purpose of enabling another to cheat at gambling".

 

District Judge Howard Riddle said the allegations against the men were "very serious".

 

"On the face of it, there is clear evidence against all of you in varying degrees," he said.

 

The judge granted the three players unconditional bail, while Majeed was freed on condition that he surrender his British passport.

 

The players looked relaxed at the start of the hearing, but were glum-faced as the trial date was set.

 

An International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption tribunal has already banned the three players over the allegations.

 

Butt received a 10-year ban, Asif got a seven-year ban and Aamer was banned for five years.

 

All three players deny the allegations and have already filed appeals against their bans at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Topics : Cricket Mohammad Asif Salman Butt Mohammad Amir
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