UK

Pakistan cricket trio ordered before court in July

Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif photographed in 2010
Image caption Mohammad Amir (left), Salman Butt (right) and Mohammad Asif face corruption charges

Three Pakistani cricketers and their agent at the centre of cheating allegations must appear before a London court in July, a judge has said.

Salman Butt, 26, Mohammad Asif, 28, and Mohammad Amir, 18, and agent Mazhar Majeed, 35, were not at Southwark Crown Court for the procedural hearing.

The players are accused of "spot-fixing" offences in the fourth Test against England at Lord's last August.

They have always denied the accusations of bowling deliberate no-balls.

Mr Justice Saunders said they must attend in person or via videolink at a preparatory hearing in July although no date was set. A provisional trial date of 4 October has already been set.

The players are charged with cheating and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments.

Mr Majeed, of Oaks Road, Croydon, south London, is accused of accepting £150,000 to arrange for the players to bowl no-balls in Pakistan's Test series at Lord's Cricket Ground in London last summer.

Accepting corrupt payments is an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 and carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

Cheating is an offence under Section 42 of the Gambling Act 2005. It carries a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.