Cricket

Matches will go ahead, says ICC chief Pawar

Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt, left, arrives with a teammate at the team hotel in Taunton, south western England on Monday. Butt and three other members of his team are allegedly involved in a spot-fixing scandal.

Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt, left, arrives with a teammate at the team hotel in Taunton, south western England on Monday. Butt and three other members of his team are allegedly involved in a spot-fixing scandal.  

England players reluctant to play against four Pakistanis

England cricketers were on Monday reported to be reluctant to play against the four Pakistani players accused of match-fixing even as Sharad Pawar, president of the International Cricket Council, insisted that the remaining matches would go ahead.

England captain Andrew Strauss said the “best thing is to do is to let the dust settle on this” before taking a decision.

His predecessor Michael Vaughan contributed to the air of uncertainty saying that any further matches would have “no credibility.”

Mr. Pawar, however, said the ICC brass had a teleconference to discuss the issue after which it was made clear that Pakistan's T20 and one-day series against England would continue as scheduled.

“It is the desire of the ICC, England and Pakistan that the game is continued,” he said after talking over phone with top ICC officials, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt and ECB chairman Giles Clarke.

Earlier, Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed also maintained that the remaining tour would go ahead as the Pakistan team left London for Taunton in southwest England for a warm-up match on Thursday ahead of a Twenty20 and One-Day series.

The Pakistani players were booed and tomatoes were pelted on the coach carrying them as fans vent to their anger. Some shouted “chor'' (thieves) and “shame, shame'' amid calls for captain Salman Butt, wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal and bowlers Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif to be suspended.

All four are at the centre of a police investigation and were questioned for several hours by Scotland Yard detectives on Saturday following allegations that they were involved in rigging last week's Test match at the Lord's with Aamir and Asif deliberately bowling three no-balls after being allegedly paid to do so.

Their mobile phones were seized by the police and there were unconfirmed reports of “large quantities of bank notes'' being found in the rooms of several Pakistani players.

The investigations follow the arrest of a London-based Pakistani property developer Mazhar Majeed after he was secretly filmed accepting £150,000 from an undercover reporter from the News of the World in return for details of how the Lord's Test that Pakistan went to lose was allegedly fixed.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 3:32:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/Matches-will-go-ahead-says-ICC-chief-Pawar/article16150951.ece

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