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Pakistan criticise response to corruption row

September 19, 2010 17:23 IST

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) accused the world governing body on Saturday of mishandling fresh corruption allegations levelled against the national team following the third one-day international against England.

It called for further details after International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat said Friday's match was being investigated following information from a British newspaper alleging a suspicious scoring pattern in Pakistan's innings.

"The PCB is extremely perturbed by the recent allegations of corruption in the third ODI between England and Pakistan," a PCB statement said.

"PCB regrets the way these allegations have been handled as being a full member of ICC it only came to know through media that investigations will be conducted by ICC. PCB feels that ICC should repose more confidence in its members."

The PCB said it has asked the ICC to provide more details about allegations in The Sun newspaper that bookmakers knew details about Pakistan's innings before the match began. Pakistan won the third game in the five-match series by 23 runs.

An England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) statement said chairman Giles Clarke had written to the ICC seeking assurances it had no evidence which could result in charges or suspensions to players in the current series.

The series concludes with matches at Lord's on Monday and Southampton on Wednesday.

"No substantive evidence has been shared with ECB or PCB at this stage," the statement said after a board meeting on Saturday.

"The ECB board noted the ICC is not stating as fact that anything untoward has occurred nor has yet been proven in relation to the third ODI between England and Pakistan."

"Until ICC substantiate that any allegations are correct no further action can be taken."

The latest controversy follows provisional ICC suspensions for Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt and opening bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir.

The trio returned home after newspaper reports of premeditated no-balls in the fourth Test against England at Lord's last month. They have said they are innocent.

British police, who are also investigating the spot-fixing allegations, questioned a fourth player, Wahab Riaz, last week.

AFRIDI SURPRISED

Lorgat said a source had told The Sun "a certain scoring pattern would emerge during certain stages of the match."

"Broadly speaking, that information appeared to be correct," Lorgat said in a statement.

"We therefore feel it is incumbent upon us to launch a full inquiry into this particular game, although it is worth pointing out at this stage that we are not stating as fact that anything untoward has occurred."

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi told the Geo Super channel that he is surprised by the reports.

"I just get this feeling there is an attempt to bring the team under pressure." Afridi said.

"If anyone has any evidence that there was anything wrong in the match it should be presented first before allegations are made. It adds to the pressure on the players."

Iqbal Mohammad, chairman of the National Assembly standing committee on sports, asked why the ICC had not reacted once it had prior information that there would be spot-fixing.

"I get this feeling now there is a definite conspiracy to damage and isolate Pakistan cricket," he said.

"Without anything being proven first I don't understand what prompted the ICC to issue a press release."

Pakistan Sports Minister Aijaz Jakhrani said the government would not take action unless there was clear evidence against a player.

"The ICC has the power and an anti-corruption unit and they should go ahead and use that," Jakhrani told the Indian news channel CNN-IBN. "If they get any proof then we will definitely look into it."

Source:
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