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Butt claims Eng players were involved in 'fixing'

Published: Monday, September 20, 2010, 11:28 [IST]
 
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Butt accuses england of fixing

Pakistan Cricket Board(PCB) chairman Ijaz But has accused some England players for throwing away the third ODI against Pakistan at the Oval.

Butt voiced his perception of other authorities' lack of regard for his organisation and his country, but it was his allegation concerning England which stood out.

He said on television in Pakistan: "There is loud and clear talk in bookie circles that some English players have taken enormous amounts of money to lose the match [the third ODI]. No wonder there was such a collapse."

When asked whether the PCB had any proof of the allegations regarding English players, Butt responded with a question: "Did you ask the other people who made allegations against our players whether they had any proof? What did they say? We have thought about this properly and we have positive proofs here before us just like they say they have also."

The England and Wales Cricket Board(ECB) are aware of the claims by Butt. They have yet to respond and are considering whether to react.

The remarks come with two matches remaining in the one-day international series, Monday's at Lord's and on Wednesday at the Rose Bowl.

It remains to be seen whether there is any reaction to Butt's allegations from the England team.

A spokesman for the International Cricket Council said the world body was unaware of the PCB chairman's claims.

Pakistan, on Monday, continued their counter-attack against the spot-fixing allegations which are once again afflicting their team.

Coach and captain Waqar Younis and Shahid Afridi both insist their players performed to the best of their ability throughout the third NatWest Series match against England at The Oval - which Pakistan won by 23 runs on Friday.

They were responding at Lord's, before practice for the fourth of five matches in the one-day international series, to the ICC's decision om Saturday to launch an investigation into "a certain scoring pattern".

The world governing body were acting on information received by The Sun newspaper.

Waqar was particularly forceful in his language about an issue which, he fears, is in danger of "destroying" the true nature of his sport.

Nevertheless it was Butt's remarks which were the most strongly worded.

"This is not a conspiracy to defraud bookies but a conspiracy to defraud Pakistan and Pakistan cricket," Butt said.

"We feel august cricket bodies are ... involved in this conspiracy, which will damage the great game of cricket.

"We have taken it in hand to start our own investigations.

"We will protest with the ICC for not taking the PCB into confidence on the issue of the spot-fixing scandal.

"We will take up this matter in the meeting of International Cricket Council on October 11.

"We will talk to the English cricket board as well, on the efforts to marginalise Pakistani cricket."

Afridi, meanwhile, made it clear he believes his team's only collective intent throughout the limited-overs leg of their tour has been and will be to try to win matches.

"I don't know who is saying these things. I think if somebody knew these things, they'd come and coach us on how to play like that," Afridi said.

"We are trying our level best to keep away from these things [reports]. We know how important tomorrow's game is, and we are motivated."

Waqar added: "It was very heartbreaking to read what was written yesterday.

"As far as I am concerned, my boys and captain are concerned, we tried our best - and we won the game."

The latest allegations follow three weeks of controversy, which began when Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt and two bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer were first named in an alleged plot to defraud illegal bookmakers by bowling no-balls to order in the Lord's Test.

All three were subsequently charged and suspended under the ICC's anti-corruption code. Waqar admits it has become increasingly difficult to cope with a crisis which just will not go away.

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