Update They do not muck around in Pakistan when you bring the nation shame do they? Charges of treason on the the country’s sports minister and its cricket chief to face treason charges over the fixing allegations in England. Test team captain Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Aamer, plus three unnamed players have so far being implicated in the greedy dirty scam. The charges may result in all assets being confiscated and even the DEATH PENALTY
A Pakistan court on Tuesday summoned seven national cricket players, the country’s sports minister and its cricket chief to face treason charges over the fixing allegations in England.
The chief justice of the High Court in Lahore said they must appear on September 7.
The seven national team players include Test team captain Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Aamer, plus three unnamed players, who are all accused in the sting by British Sunday tabloid the News of the World.
Local lawyer Ishtiaq Ahmed filed the treason case on Monday, calling for life bans and confiscation of all the players’ assets if they are found guilty. The charge carries a maximum death penalty.
The cricketers are alleged to have been paid to bowl no-balls at pre-determined times in a spot-fixing scam in the fourth Test against England, which Pakistan lost by an innings on Sunday.
Pakistani authorities have also promised severe punishment, but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said it would not suspend any players while police investigated the players.
“Chairman Ijaz Butt just told me that since there is a case going on with the Scotland Yard we are not going to suspend any player,” a PCB spokesman told AFP.
“He further said that this is only an allegation so far. There is still no charge or proof on that account. So at this stage there will be no action taken.”
Usually in Pakistan, court procedures are long and decisions take years while a legal expert said if the accused fail to appear three times in a row a ruling could be made in absentia.
“The case is based only on allegations. We do not expect a hurried decision,” Azhar Siddique, a local lawyer said.
Police have bailed a bookmaker, Mazhar Majeed, a 35-year-old agent who is alleged to be the middleman in the scam and was initially arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers.
According to British media reports, the players named in the News of the World allegations are unlikely to play in the series of one-day internationals against England.
The Pakistan team begin their preparation for the one-day series, which follows the Test series in which the alleged betting scam took place, with a practice match against English county Somerset on Thursday.
The first one-day match against England is on Sunday.
The News of the World, a British Sunday tabloid, alleged that a middleman took STG150,000 ($A259,718) to arrange for Pakistani players to deliberately bowl the no-balls.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper said it understood that the ICC had asked the Pakistan authorities for the four players cited in the allegations to be dropped from the squad, although no official request has been made.
Other British press reports said the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was adamant that the players at the centre of the allegations should be omitted from the one-day series.
Citing an ICC source, it also reported that the same players had been under investigation for months by their anti-corruption unit.
- ‘Match fix’ cricketers face death (heraldsun.com.au)
- Cricket chief pledges ‘prompt action’ against cheats (independent.co.uk)
- Pakistan talks continue regarding quartet (independent.co.uk)
- Pakistan sends delegation to investigate cricket betting scandal (guardian.co.uk)
- Cricket chiefs vow fixing crackdown (mirror.co.uk)