31 Aug 2010

Pakistan cricketers facing treason charge

9:56 pm on 31 August 2010

A lawyer in Pakistan has filed treason charges against seven national cricket players, the country's sports minister and its cricket chief over match-fixing allegations in England.

The chief justice of the High Court in Lahore said those under investigation in England, plus sports minister Ijaz Jakharani and Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt must appear on 7 September.

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, AFP reports.

The charge carries a maximum death penalty.

The cricketers are alleged to have been paid to bowl no-balls at pre-determined times in the fourth Test against England at Lord's, which ended on Sunday. England won the Test to lead the series 3-1.

Police in London have questioned four players and released Mazhar Majeed, who had been detained on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers.

The International Cricket Council is also investigating.