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Pakistan endure worst day in their Test history

August 29, 2010 23:33 IST
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Pakistan endured the worst day in their turbulent cricket history on Sunday when a corruption scandal erupting overnight was succeeded by their heaviest Test defeat.

British police arrested a man on Saturday after a British newspaper reported that pacemen Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif had bowled three deliberate no-balls by pre-arrangement on the opening day of the fourth Test against England last Thursday. The practice is known as 'spot fixing'.

The police said the 35-year-old had been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers.

Millions of dollars are bet annually in the Indian sub-continent on individual incidents such as no-balls within international cricket matches which are widely televised there.

Tour manager Yawar Saeed told Sky Sports police had confiscated mobile phones belonging to Aamir, Asif and captain Salman Butt.

The Pakistan team did not bother to warm up on Sunday and were duly defeated by an innings and 225 runs before lunch on the fourth day.

Only a sprinkling of spectators were present to watch the dying rites of a series won 3-1 by the home side and when Aamir came out to bat he was booed.

The fans were even denied sight of a victory ceremony which was held in the Long Room in the Lord's pavilion in a distinctly chilly atmosphere. Aamir got neither applause nor handshakes when he was presented with the award for Pakistan player of the series.

Pakistan, who play all their international matches abroad because of the parlous security situation at home, have played six Tests in seven weeks in England including a drawn series with Australia.


Yawar told a news conference the team would fulfil their obligations by taking part in a seven-match one-day series starting in Cardiff next Sunday.

However, it would appear from Butt's body language on Sunday that he cannot wait to go home. Asked repeatedly if he had been involved in 'spot fixing' as alleged in The News of the World, Butt did not give a direct denial.

He did say, though, that he did not intend to resign and said all his players had given 100 percent in England.

The news caused consternation in Pakistan, where their cricket team's wins over Australia and England this season have provided a small measure of consolation for those affected by the floods which have killed at least 1,600 people and forced more than six million from their homes.

"We are waiting for a detailed report from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and if any players are found guilty of being involved in fixing they will be banned for life," Sports Minister Ijaz Hussain Jakhrani said.

Former Pakistan captain Salim Malik was one of three international leaders who were banned for life after a match-fixing scandal which emerged in 2000. South African Hansie Cronje and India's Mohammad Azharuddin also received life bans.

This year seven of the Pakistan team received bans or fines after a singularly unsuccessful tour of Australia where they failed to win a single match.

By coincidence, the largest major scandal to affect Pakistan was the fourth day of the fourth Test in the 2006 series.

Pakistan became the first international team to forfeit a Test when captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and his side refused to take the field after tea. Umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove had awarded five penalty runs to England because they believed Pakistan had tampered with the ball.

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