ICC rules out Pakistan abandoning England tour

International Cricket Council (ICC) President Sharad Pawar has ruled out the possibility of the Pakistan team abandoning their tour of England following allegations of spot fixing.

“It is the desire of the ICC and the cricket boards of England and Pakistan that the game should continue,” he told reporters on Monday.

Pakistan test captain Salman Butt, fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal were questioned by police at the team’s hotel in London following a report in a Sunday newspaper that players had been bribed to fix incidents during the fourth test against England at Lord’s.

The allegations centred on three no-balls from Amir and Asif which The News of the World newspaper said had been bowled by pre-arrangement.

English counterpart
Pawar and other ICC officials, including the head of council’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) Ravi Sawani, discussed the issue with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairperson Ijaz Butt and his English counterpart Giles Clarke.

After the teleconference, Pawar said ACSU had been asked to submit a report in the next couple of days.

“We discussed it in detail but one thing is there, British police are in the process of investigation. They have not completed the investigation, they have not called any player for interrogation either.

“So unless the investigation is complete and we get a prima facie report, it will be difficult for the Pakistan board to take appropriate action.

“The PCB president himself has inquired and prepared a confidential report which he sent to the president and prime minister of Pakistan. He is expecting some guidance from the country’s leadership.

“We at the ICC are waiting for definite information from the PCB and our own anti-corruption unit. We hope to get something in the next two to three days time and that information would lead to appropriate action, if required.”

Earlier on Monday, Pawar told a news conference in Mumbai the sport’s governing body would be ruthless if any player was found guilty of spot fixing.

“If, unfortunately, there is a truth (in the allegations) then ruthless actions will be taken,” he said.

“I am absolutely confident that both boards — English and Pakistani — will never encourage or protect anybody who has done a wrong thing.”

Pakistan are due to play two Twenty20 matches and five one-day internationals against England, who won the test series 3-1. –Reuters

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