Banned Pak trio ordered to appear in July

Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamir during the Test series against England Getty Images

Lahore: May 24, 2011

The banned Pakistani trio of Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamir will have to appear before a London court in July for a preliminary hearing into the criminal case registered against them by the Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) for corruption and cheating.

The three players didn’t appear at the hearing held on May 20 in a Southwark court which ruled that regular hearing of the criminal case would begin in October.

But according to details, Judge James Sanders has ruled that the three have to appear for the preliminary hearing in July in person or through a video link.

“The judge has ordered in a note that the trio be present in person or by video link for the preliminary hearing,” a source said.

The date for the start of the regular hearing has been set for October 4.

Although Aamir and Asif were present in London on May 20, they did not appear in the Southwark court on advice of their lawyers. Butt did not travel to London at all and remained in Lahore.

The trio were allegedly involved in bowling predetermined no-balls during the Test match against England last August and were subsequently banned for a minimum of five years by ICC’s anti-corruption tribunal.

The Crown Prosecution service will start working from July to prove their case of corruption and cheating against the three players and their Pakistani-British agent, Mazhar Majeed.

The incident came to light last August when a British tabloid exposed that the players received huge sum of money for deliberately bowling no-balls during the fourth Test against England.

Butt, who was the captain during the series, received a further suspended five-year ban and pacers Asif and Aamir were handed a further two-year suspended sanction.

Majeed is accused of accepting USD 242,000 during a sting by undercover newspaper reporters to arrange for the players to bowl no-balls.