Pakistan cricket players charged with corruption

LONDON, February 4, 2011 (AFP) – British prosecutors charged Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer as well as an agent with corruption offences on Friday as an alleged spot-fixing scandal headed towards the courts. The charges relate to alleged incidents during a Test match against England at Lord’s last year, when Britain’s News of the World tabloid claimed the players were willing to deliberately bowl no-balls.

The newspaper alleged the players, who are currently provisionally suspended from international cricket, had colluded in a spot-fixing betting scam organised by British-based agent Mazhar Majeed.

“We have decided that Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Asif, Salman Butt and their agent, Mazhar Majeed, should be charged with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and also conspiracy to cheat,” Simon Clements of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said in a statement.

“These charges relate to allegations that Mr Majeed accepted money from a third party to arrange for the players to bowl ‘no balls’ on 26 and 27 August 2010, during Pakistan’s fourth Test at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.”

Clements, head of the CPS Special Crime Division, added: “We are satisfied there is sufficient evidenc