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Images: Pakistan in a 'fix' after Lord's fiasco

Last updated on: August 30, 2010 16:56 IST

Pakistan endure worst day in their cricketing history



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'.

- What is spot-fixing?

The police said the 35-year-old had been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers before he was released on bail without charge on Sunday night.

He also further revealed that as many as seven top Pakistani players, including captain Salman Butt, were actively involved with him in match-fixing.

Pakistan cricket team watch from the window of the dressing room during day four of the fourth Test against England at Lord's on Sunday.

Photographs: Reuters

Image: Pakistan cricket team watch from the dressing room during day four of the fourth Test against England at Lord's on Sunday.


Fans booed Amir at Lord's

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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 Scotland Yard detectives spoke to Aamer, Asif and Butt and took away their mobile phones, Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed confirmed on Sunday.

However, despite the allegations, Pakistan Manager Yawar Saeed has denied that Pakistan cricket is "institutionally corrupt".

"We would like to wait to see what happens in the investigation. Only then we can say anything," Saeed said.

Image: Pakistan Manager Yawar Saeed (right) and asst manager Shafqat Ranan read a newspaper as Kamran Akmal looks on.

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'It has taken the gloss off the series win'

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England won the series 3-1 after dominating the first two Tests before they were defeated by four wickets in the third match at the Oval. Pakistan, who played six Tests in seven weeks, drew 1-1 with Australia earlier in the season.

"I don't think anyone wants to finish a Test series in this scenario," said England captain Andrew Strauss.

"It has taken the gloss off the series win which is very disappointing because we had some outstanding performances.

"The partnership by Trott and Broad is the best I've seen in an England team and we followed it up with our bowling.

"It's been a hard-fought series and it's nice to win it but not in these circumstances."

Image: England's captain Andrew Strauss and his team mates wait in the Long Room for the presentations at Lord's

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ECB chief Clarke snubs Amir

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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 a handshake from ECB chairman Giles Clarke when he was presented with the award for Pakistan player of the series.

Amir, 18, became the youngest bowler to reach 50 Test wickets when he captured six for 84 in England's first innings but his career was embroiled into a major controversy after allegations of match-fixing.

The Pakistan cricket team also look set for further trouble after it was reported on Monday that large quantities of bank notes were found in the London hotel rooms of a few Pakistan cricketers in a raid by the Scotland Yard detectives and they could be arrested on charges of corruption.

"Officers also found large numbers of bank notes in the rooms of unnamed players which exceeded the daily maintenance payment made to the cricketers by their employers. It is not known if these bank notes relate to the allegations," British newspaper The Independent reported on Monday.

"The police investigation, which led to officers confiscating the mobile phones of three Pakistan players including the team's captain Salman Butt in a late-night sweep on Saturday, raises the possibility of members of an international cricket team being arrested and facing prosecution in Britain before the tourists leave after the final game of their summer tour on 22 September," the reported added.

Image: Mohammad Amir receives his man of the series award from Giles Clarke, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board

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'It is a disgrace for the country and for the game'

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Reacting angrily to the match-fixing allegations, fans greeted the Pakistan cricket team with boos, jeers and pelted the team bus with rotten tomatoes as they used the stadium's back gate after crashing to a humiliating defeat by England.

Pakistan supporters also branded players at the centre of the allegations a "disgrace", the Daily Express reported.

Khushi Muhammad from Kent said there is a feeling of "shame" and "disappointment"

"It is a disgrace for the country and for the game. Amir is very talented. If the allegations are true it was not a wise move on his part," he added.

Faisal Ahmed, 31, an NHS practice manager, from Hampstead, said: "I have been following the cricket team all over the UK. It is an absolute disgrace. I came here to support this team and they have been cheating."

"Anyone who took money should be taken off the team immediately and never allowed to play again. It needs to be looked at from the management down. Amir's foot was so far over the line it is embarrassing and shameful," he said.

Image: Mohammad Amir (left) and Mohammad Asif arrive at the team hotel

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