The Pakistan Cricket Board is readying itself for a legal battle with the England and Wales Cricket Board, who has demanded financial compensation for PCB chief Ijaz Butt's accusation against English players.
Sources in the cricket board in Karachi confirmed that the ECB, in its letter to the PCB, not only demanded an unconditional apology from the PCB for Butt's remarks against English players but also wanted compensation.
Relations between the boards soured after Butt accused the English players of spot-fixing after the third One-Dayer of the NatWest series at Lord's.
Retaliating to Butt's comments, the ECB in its letter said that either he must render an unconditional apology or face legal action.
Sources also said that the ECB wants to be financially compensated for Butt's comments, which it claimed has damaged the image and reputation of the English players.
"The letter states that the PCB must compensate the ECB for loss of image and revenues because of Butt's remarks during the One-Day series," a source said.
Butt, however, is in no mood to apologise or pay any compensation to the ECB and is learnt to have told his legal team to respond accordingly.
"The PCB legal team believes that the ECB has no case since Butt never made any direct accusations and they are responding to the ECB letter accordingly," the source added.
The source also confirmed that Butt has told his legal counsel to file a legal case against English batsman Jonathan Trott for calling Pakistani pacer Wahab Riaz a fixer before the fourth One-Dayer at Lord's.
"Everyone should listen carefully to what the chairman said in his interview. He never directly accused anyone of match fixing, so there is no question of an apology," Nadeem Sarwar, PCB's media manager, was quoted as saying in the Jung.
The source also said that the PCB was confident that its three players - skipper Salman Butt and pacers Muhammad Amir and Mohammad Asif - suspended by the ICC for alleged involvement in spot fixing, would be cleared by Scotland Yard.
"The legal team has told Butt that there are strong indications that the Scotland Yard does not have enough evidence to charge the suspended trio," the source said.
Butt will not apologise for his match-fixing allegations
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt will not apologise or pay any compensation for alleging that England players were engaged in match-fixing, an official source close to the chief said.
"The ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) not only wants an unconditional apology from Butt but also financial compensation for (damaging the reputation of) its players," the source said on Saturday.
"The letter states that the PCB should also compensate the ECB for the damages it suffered during the ODI series after Butt's remarks."
The source added that the PCB Chairman was adamant he would not apologise for his remarks -in which he said there had been "loud and clear talk in bookies' circles that some English players were paid enormous amounts of money to lose (the third One-Dayer) - and told his legal advisors the PCB would not pay any compensation to the ECB.
Butt made the allegations after the International Cricket Council said it was investigating the third ODI for suspicious "scoring patterns" by the Pakistan team.
PCB media manager Nadeem Sarwar told the Jang newspaper that there was no question of Butt apologising because he had not accused the English players of match-fixing.
"Everyone should listen carefully to what the chairman said in his interview he never directly accused anyone of match fixing," Sarwar said.
The ECB could not be reached for comment.
Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt and his team mates Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif had been suspended after an investigation into a newspaper report that they had arranged for no-balls to be deliberately delivered in the fourth Test at Lord's.