3 Sep 2010

Pakistan cricketers charged under anti-corruption code

2:49 pm on 3 September 2010

The International Cricket Council has charged Pakistan test captain Salman Butt and opening bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif under its anti-corruption code.

The sport's world governing body said the trio had been provisionally suspended from all forms of cricket and related activities until the case was concluded.

Pakistan withdrew Butt, Amir and Asif from their one-day team earlier on Thursday.

Police confiscated the three players' mobile phones after allegations in British newspaper News of the World that they had taken bribes to fix incidents in the final test against England at Lord's last week.

The players have 14 days from receipt of the charges to ask for a hearing before an independent anti-corruption tribunal.

Players set up, diplomat says

Pakistan's top diplomat in Britain says the three cricketers, who maintain they are innocent, were "set up".

Wajid Hasan, the Pakistani high commissioner in London, said he believed the three played no part in an alleged plot to bowl no-balls to order during Pakistan's fourth test defeat at Lord's.

He went on to cast doubt on video evidence about the allegations released by the News of the World.

In an interview on Thursday night, he said the video was not timed or dated, so could have been filmed after the match.

Asked if he thought the three players had been "set up", Mr Hasan said: "Yes, I would say that."

The News of the World dismissed the high commissioner's claims as "ludicrous". It is understood that the paper is planning to publish further revelations.

The three players will miss Pakistan's remaining games against England in the current tour, beginning with the first of two Twenty20 matches on Sunday, followed by five one-day internationals.