Spot Fixing: Decision on Pak trio today
London: The three Pakistan players at the centre of spot-fixing allegations that could end their cricket careers are set to discover Friday if they will be prosecuted by English legal authorities.
Salman Butt, who was Pakistan`s Test captain, and seamers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer have been accused of conspiring in the bowling of deliberate no-balls on last year`s tour of England -- claims they all deny.
The trio could be banned for life when an International Cricket Council (ICC) tribunal announces its conclusions in Doha on Saturday.
But a day earlier they will find out if they face legal action in England following a separate investigation by London`s Metropolitan Police.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Thursday an announcement would be made at 1100GMT on Friday.
A CPS spokeswoman later told AFP there was no connection between the timing of their announcement and the ICC hearing in Doha on Saturday, saying: "We make decisions when we are ready to make them."
Last year, Britain`s News of the World tabloid conducted a newspaper `sting operation` which it said proved the Pakistan trio`s willingness to be involved in the deliberate bowling of no-balls during the Lord`s Test against England.
This, the paper said, was evidence of a spot-betting scam where money can be gambled on specific incidents in a match without the need to `fix` the result.
The entire Pakistan trio was interviewed by police. So too was players` agent Mazhar Majeed, whom the News of the World alleged accepted 150,000 pounds to set up the deal. Majeed was also arrested.
A fifth man, player Wahab Riaz, was also interviewed under caution but it is not known why he will not be included in Friday`s announcement.
While the ICC, which heard evidence from Butt, Asif and Aamer during a hearing in Doha last month, has to consider whether its rules were broken and what, if any, punishment should follow if they were, the CPS must decide whether the players have a case to answer under English law.
Butt, Asif and Aamer are all currently provisionally suspended by the ICC.