LONDON: Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer will face criminal charges in Britain over allegations they conspired with bookmakers to fix a match last year against England.
The trio have protested their innocence to the International Cricket Council but Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service said on Friday they and their agent have been summoned on charges of conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat.
The players have been suspended from all cricket since Sept. 3 after a British tabloid alleged they bowled no-balls at prearranged times during August’s fourth test at Lord’s to fix spot betting markets.
It was alleged 150,000 pounds ($241,000) was forwarded through businessman Mazhar Majeed.
CPS head Simon Clemence said the organization, which was responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by British police, believed it had sufficient evident to convict the players.
Butt, Asif and Aamer, who has apologized for bowling five overs in a friendly last week, will be subject to extradition proceedings if they do not return to Britain next month.
An ICC anti-corruption tribunal, which questioned the players over 45 hours in Doha last month, is expected to deliver its own verdict on Saturday on the sport’s biggest fixing scandal of the past decade.
The Pakistan Cricket Board says it might consider the three players for the World Cup if they are exonerated, but lengthy bans are possible.(AP)