Cricket

Pakistan cricket trio dropped from England tour

TOUGH TIMES: Pakistan pacemen Mohammad Amir (centre) and Mohammad Asif (second from right) arrive at the Pakistan High Commission in London on Thursday. These two, as well as Test captain Salman Butt, will not figure in the side's twenty20 and ODI series against England.

TOUGH TIMES: Pakistan pacemen Mohammad Amir (centre) and Mohammad Asif (second from right) arrive at the Pakistan High Commission in London on Thursday. These two, as well as Test captain Salman Butt, will not figure in the side's twenty20 and ODI series against England.   | Photo Credit: John Stillwell

Three Pakistan players at the centre of the corruption storm in England will take no further part in the tour.

Salman Butt, captain during the Test series which England won 3-1, and quick bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir are still being questioned by police about allegations in a British newspaper that they deliberately bowled no-balls.

On Thursday, all three were at the Pakistan High Commission in London, where they were being questioned about all the allegations of match-fixing. They were recalled to the team's headquarters in London on Tuesday when the first hint that they might not rejoin the tour party came because they took all their kit.

Ijaz Butt, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, said earlier in the week that the three could still take some part in the last stages of the tour although ICC, the world governing body and the England and Wales Cricket Board have both voiced their disapproval of that suggestion.

Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed said, in a confused press conference before Thursday's warm-up game against Somerset at Taunton, that “I have decided to leave them out. They have not been suspended.” Three more players would be joining the tour party, he added.

“The absence of these three makes our lives an awful lot easier,” said Richard Gould, the Somerset chief executive. As the match began calls of “no-ball” could be heard from various parts of the small crowd.

Since the first stories published at the week-end, the England captain Andrew Strauss and a number of high-profile ex-players have called for anyone found guilty on corruption charges to be banned for life.

Blow to morale

Perhaps the greatest blow to the morale of the team has come with the news that a number of Pakistan fans have rung the grounds on which the one-day matches will be played to complain.

Stewart Regan, the Yorkshire chief executive, said: “Pakistan fans have phoned us to say they felt let down and wanted to know if they could get their money back. The Headingley ground is sold out for the match on September 12.

Pakistan meets England in two T20 matches in Cardiff on Sunday and Tuesday and in five one-day internationals later in the month.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 3:55:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/Pakistan-cricket-trio-dropped-from-England-tour/article15901452.ece

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