Cricketers to face 'cheat' charges

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Pakistan cricketers (left to right) Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt

Three Pakistani cricketers and an agent will be charged with conspiring to cheat bookmakers over the match-fixing scandal, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

Captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer will face court over their actions during a Test match at Lord’s last August.

They were questioned by Scotland Yard detectives over claims they accepted cash to deliberately bowl no-balls.

Agent Mazhar Majeed, accused of accepting £150,000 to fix the actions of players, was also charged with conspiracy to cheat bookmakers.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said all four men have also been charged with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments.

Majeed will appear before City of Westminster Magistrates’ court on March 17. Summonses for the three players have been issued for the same date.

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

“Mr Majeed has been summonsed to appear for a first hearing at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 17 March. Summonses for the same court date have been issued for the three players and they have been asked to return to this country voluntarily, as they agreed to do in September last year. Their extradition will be sought should they fail to return.”

Accepting corrupt payments is an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 and carries a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

Cheating is an offence contrary to Section 42 of the Gambling Act 2005. It carries a maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

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