‘Spot-fixing’ trial: Two Pakistan cricketers due in court

Two Pakistan cricketers will go on trial in London tomorrow accused of spot-fixing during a Lord’s Test match against England.

Salman Butt, the former captain, and Mohammad Asif, the fast bowler, are due to appear at Southwark Crown Court charged with cheating, and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments.

The players are accused of conspiring to deliberately bowl no-balls at specified times during the fourth Test at Lord’s in August 2010.

The trial follows an expose by the News of the World newspaper last year and a subsequent investigation by the Metropolitan Police.

After a six month inquiry, the Crown Prosecution Service authorised two charges against the players in February.

They are accused under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 of “accepting or obtaining corrupt payments” contrary to the “affairs or considerations” of their employers, the Pakistan Cricket Board.

The second charge is of cheating under Section 42 of the Gambling Act 2005.

It alleges that they conspired to enable other persons to cheat at gambling by identifying in advance occasions during the Test match when they would play in a specified manner.

Butt, 26, who was captain of Pakistan’s Test side at the time of the alleged offences, and Asif, 28, the team’s senior pace bowler, deny both charges.

The trial, to be heard before Mr Justice Cooke, is expected to last three weeks.

* Follow day-by-day coverage of the trial exclusively on The Cricketer website

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