6 Oct 2011

Pakistan players "betrayed cricket" with bribes-court

7:34 am on 6 October 2011

A London court has heard that three Pakistan cricketers, driven by greed, betrayed their team mates and the sport by taking bribes to fix incidents during a test match against England last year.

It's alleged the plot was orchestrated by Pakistan captain Salman Butt and his agent Mazhar Majeed and involved the team's two opening fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir who were instructed to bowl three no-balls at a pre-agreed time.

Prosecutors say the case reveals a depressing tale of rampant corruption at the heart of international cricket, with the key players being members of the Pakistan cricket team.

They say the activity was underpinned by the betting industry in the Asian subcontinent - Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Far East, where cricket games alone had a turnover of $55 to 65 New Zealand billion a year.

The scam was uncovered by a journalist at the News of the World newspaper, the tabloid that's since closed down.

Butt and Asif deny the charges.