The three Pakistani players who have been accused of spot fixing and are provisionally suspended by the ICC - Mohammad Asif, Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir - have been formally charged by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat. The trio have been accused to conspiring to bowl deliberate no-balls in the fourth test against England last August.
The players' agent, Mazhar Majeed who is at the heart of the scandal, has also been charged, with a first hearing scheduled for City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on March 17. The CPS stated that extradition orders would be pursued if the three players fail to appear in court.
"We have authorised charges of conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and also conspiracy to cheat against Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif, Salman Butt and Mazhar Majeed," Simon Clements, Head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said.
The CPS confirmed its findings in an announcement shortly after 11 a.m. GMT on Friday, Feb 4. In a corresponding legal proceeding, the tainted trio could be banned for life when an International Cricket Council (ICC) tribunal announces the conclusions of its own investigation in Doha on Saturday.
A statement from the CPS said: "The Crown Prosecution Service has been working closely with the Metropolitan Police Service since the allegations of match-fixing became public on 29 August 2010. We received a full file of evidence on 7 December 2010 and we are satisfied there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute."
Last August, a sting operation by the News of the World Tabloid allegedly proved the complicity of the three accused in bowling no balls at pre-determined points in a match, that could be thus gambled upon by parties in the know. The agent Majeed allegedly received 50,000 pounds to set up the deal.