Police quiz 'fix' probe cricketers
The three Pakistan cricketers barred from the sport over match-fixing allegations are expected to be questioned by police.
Test captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer were charged under the anti-corruption code of the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday and provisionally banned from playing in any match.
The three men have insisted they are innocent but have been charged with "various offences" under Article 2 of the ICC's Anti-Corruption Code relating to alleged irregular behaviour during and in relation to the fourth Test between England and Pakistan at Lord's last month. They have been "provisionally suspended pending a decision on those charges", the ICC said.
The bans follow newspaper allegations that a middleman accepted £150,000 to arrange for Pakistan players to deliberately bowl no-balls during the fourth Test.
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said: "We will not tolerate corruption in cricket - simple as that. We must be decisive with such matters and if proven, these offences carry serious penalties up to a life ban."
The charges mean the sportsmen are "immediately barred from participating in all cricket and related activities until the case has been concluded".
Pakistan's top diplomat in Britain on Thursday claimed that the men were "set up".
Wajid Hasan, the Pakistani High Commissioner in London, said he believed the trio played no part in an alleged plot to bowl no-balls to order during Pakistan's defeat at Lord's. He went on to cast doubt on video evidence about the allegations released by the News of the World.
In an interview on BBC News, he said: "We are not seeing on the video what the date or what the time is. Do you have answers to these questions? The video wasn't timed or dated. It could have been dated before the match or after the match, or at a different time."
Asked if he thought the three players had been "set up", Mr Hasan said: "Yes, I would say that." The News of the World dismissed the High Commissioner's claims as "ludicrous", adding in a statement: "Watch this space."