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Butt withdraws allegations against Eng players

Published: Thursday, September 30, 2010, 11:37 [IST]
 
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Butt drops England allegations

The Pakistan Cricket Board(PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt on Wednesday said that he was withdrawing the comments he made on Pakistan television alleging that England cricketers had thrown away the third one-day international at The Oval.

Butt had claimed that the England players were paid "enormous amounts of money" to lose The Oval match in a series which the hosts ultimate won 3-2.

Following the remarks made by the PCB boss, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) threatened legal action in response unless Butt "unreservedly" apologised for remarks he made.

And after a meeting with ECB counterpart Giles Clarke here on Wednesday, England got the apology they wanted for what Butt said was a "misunderstanding", with the ECB now declaring the matter "closed".

According to AFP report, Butt, in a joint ECB/PCB statement, said: "I wish personally and on behalf of the Pakistan Cricket Board to withdraw the comments I made concerning the England and Wales Cricket Board and each of the England players who played in the one-day international at The Oval on Friday 17 September."

"It is regrettable that there was a misunderstanding arising from my comments," he added.

"I would like to make it quite clear that in the statements which I made that I never intended to question the behaviour and integrity of the England players nor the ECB nor to suggest that any of them were involved in any corrupt practices or in a conspiracy against Pakistan cricket.

"In particular, I wish to make it clear that I have never seen any evidence of any wrong doing by any England player or the ECB at any time.

"I deeply and sincerely regret that my statements have been interpreted to cast doubt upon the good names of the England players and the ECB and hope that this public withdrawal will draw a line under the matter."

Butt's comments were viewed as a snub to the ECB and in particular Clarke, chairman of the International Cricket Council's Pakistan task team.

England had 'helped out' Pakistan by agreeing to stage their 'home' series against Australia in England shortly before matches against their own teams.

The ICC had suspended International cricket in Pakistan following an armed attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore last year.

"The ECB and its chairman have been and continue to be a friend of and hugely supportive of Pakistan cricket," Butt's statement added.

"I am very grateful for their efforts in that regard and for their hospitality this summer.

"We at the PCB, like all other cricket governing bodies, are committed to a zero tolerance policy to corruption in the game and will continue to work hard with the relevant authorities to eradicate it."

In response, the ECB said they and "the England players who played at the Brit Oval warmly welcome this withdrawal and now regard the matter closed".

The ECB also added that Clarke would continue as the ICC Pakistan task team chairman.

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