Pakistan says no suspension for accused

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has promised “prompt and decisive action” if the allegations made by a British Sunday newspaper are proven.


The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has summoned the players at the centre of the claims to a meeting in London on Wednesday, but said it would not suspend any player while police continue to investigate.

Customs officials in Britain said they had arrested and bailed two men and a woman from London on Sunday as part of an investigation into money laundering. A source confirmed the arrests were linked to the cricket row.

A spokesman for the PCB said that until the various investigations were completed, it would not act against the players.

“Chairman Ijaz Butt just told me that since there is a case going on with the Scotland Yard we are not going to suspend any player,” he told AFP.

“He further said that this is only an allegation so far. There is still no charge or proof on that account. So at this stage there will be no action taken.”

The News of the World alleges that a middleman took STG150,000 ($A259,717.77) to arrange for Pakistani players to deliberately bowl no-balls in the final Test match against England in London last week.

The information would be of enormous value to the spot-betting industry, where money is wagered on specific incidents in matches.

The beleaguered Pakistan team was training for the rest of the tour on Tuesday in Taunton, southwest England.

But three of the players named in the allegations – Test team captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif – have been summoned to a meeting with top Pakistani officials in London on Wednesday.

Team manager Yawar Saeed said they would meet with Ijaz Butt and the Pakistani high commissioner (ambassador) to Britain, Wajid Shamsul Hasan.

It appears increasingly likely the three players will play no part in the rest of the tour, which comprises Twenty20 matches and a series of one-day internationals against England.

Pakistan begin their preparations for the matches with a practice game against English county Somerset on Thursday, before the first Twenty20 fixture against England in Cardiff on Sunday.

Reporters were barred from the County Ground in Taunton on the request of the Pakistan team, Somerset Chief Executive Richard Gould said, telling AFP: “I think in these particular circumstances, we understand.”

Britain’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper said the ICC had informally asked Pakistan for the named players to be dropped from the squad.

Citing ICC sources, other reports claimed that the same players had been under investigation for months by their anti-corruption unit.

The world of cricket has reacted with shock and dismay to claims that huge sums of money had changed hands in alleged fixing schemes at international level, linked to shadowy betting rings.

The News of the World claimed it had paid middleman Mazhar Majeed for advance details of three no-balls in the Test match at Lord’s.

Majeed, a 35-year-old agent for several Pakistan players, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers in the wake of the allegations, but was released on bail without charge on Sunday.

Detectives questioned the players named, including Asif and 18-year-old prodigy Aamer, who bowled the no-balls – normally an accidental and unpredictable occurrence – and police seized their mobile phones.

Investigators from the ICC’s anti-corruption and security unit are in Britain looking into the allegations, and ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat promised action would be taken against any players found guilty.

“The integrity of the game is of paramount importance. Prompt and decisive action will be taken against those who seek to harm it,” Lorgat said.

However, he told AFP it was important to “keep things in perspective” and not tarnish the rest of the team with the allegations.

Agent Umran Khan, who represents several Pakistan players not named in the allegations, including one-day captain Shahid Afridi, repeated this, telling PakPassion深圳桑拿网,: “My players have absolutely nothing to do with it.”

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