Cricket: Pakistan players on trial for alleged 'spot-fixing'

4th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Two Pakistan Test players went on trial in London on Tuesday charged with spot-fixing during a match against England last year, in allegations which rocked the world of cricket.

Former captain Salman Butt, 26, and star bowler Mohammad Asif, 28, appeared at Southwark Crown Court charged with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments, and conspiracy to cheat.

The charges relate to allegations of deliberately bowling no-balls during England's fourth Test against Pakistan at Lord's cricket ground in London in August 2010.

The allegations were made by the Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World tabloid, which was closed down in July this year when it became engulfed in the phone hacking scandal.

The initial part of Tuesday's hearing consisted of legal argument.

The trial is expected to last five weeks.

Two other people -- talented 19-year-old bowler Mohammad Aamer and the three players' agent Mazhar Majeed -- have also been charged with the same offences.

At the time of the alleged offences, Butt was captain of Pakistan's Test side and had won plaudits for his leadership.

Asif was the team's senior pace bowler, while teenage left-arm swing bowler Aamer was regarded as one of the hottest properties in world cricket.

© 2011 AFP

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