Spot-fixing trial gets under way

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The Independent Online

The trial began yesterday at Southwark Crown Court in London of Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif. The Pakistan cricketers are charged with conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments in the course of their country's 2010 tour of England.

Butt, the team's captain, and Asif, a fast bowler, are accused of conspiring between 15 and 29 August 2010 to accept cash for arranging for deliberate no-balls to be bowled in the fourth Test at Lord's. Both deny the charges, which stem from an investigation by Mazher Mahmood and the News of the World.

Asif, sitting in the dock alongside his former team-mate, followed yesterday's proceedings through an Urdu interpreter. The jury, of seven men and five women, was warned by the judge, Mr Justice Cooke, that the trial could last for up to five weeks.