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  1. #1
    DF Admin 4me2's Avatar
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    Attention Tour hits fresh low after Butt accuses English over Oval match

    Tour hits fresh low after Butt accuses English over Oval match


    Pakistan board chairman retaliates with own fixing claims as his team go back to Lord’s for fourth ODI

    By Stephen Brenkley, Cricket Correspondent


    The tour from hell enters its final phase today. England will play Pakistan at Lord's in the fourth match of the NatWest Series, which will feel less like a one-day international than a return to the scene of the crime. If all goes according to plan, and not much has so far, there will be one more match at the Rose Bowl on Wednesday and then at last the end will come. What a merciful release it will be. The games themselves – although, paradoxically, highly entertaining – have been overshadowed by repeated claims of corruption.
    It was at Lord's in the fourth Test match that Pakistan were alleged to have bowled no-balls to order. Three players were suspended by the International Cricket Council and are still being investigated by the Metropolitan Police.
    But as if that were not enough match-rigging controversy for one tour, fresh suspicion has now fallen on the third one-day international at The Oval on Friday. The ICC has launched an investigation after being handed information which purports to show that scoring patterns in the early stages of Pakistan's innings were pre-determined after a deal struck during a telephone call between a man in Dubai and a bookmaker in Delhi.



    Yet calls from several quarters for the tour to be stopped were firmly resisted by both sides. Indeed, Andrew Strauss, the England captain, insisted that it was correct for it to proceed given the lack (thus far, that is) of any compelling evidence of misdeeds. He also pointed out that the matches had been "high-intensity affairs" – and the sides have frequently been close to being at each other's throats.
    Pakistan undoubtedly feel there is a conspiracy against them and the chairman of its board, Ijaz Butt, said as much in Karachi. In his characteristically maverick fashion he said that as Pakistan had won the match by 23 runs, it was England's players who should be investigated.
    "There is loud and clear talk in the bookies circle that some English players were paid enormous amounts of money to lose the match," he told Duniya television. "No wonder there was a total collapse of the English side.



    "We won the match and we are under suspicion. England lost, their players should be investigated."
    It has been made clear by the game's authorities that no England players are under any suspicion. Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, has so far added nothing to his statement on Saturday when he decreed that an immediate inquiry was warranted. "A source informed The Sun newspaper that a certain scoring pattern would emerge during certain stages of the match and, broadly speaking, that information appeared to be correct.



    "We therefore feel it is incumbent upon us to launch a full inquiry into this particular game although it is worth pointing out at this stage that we are not stating as fact that anything untoward has occurred."
    So far neither the ICC nor the newspaper have revealed details but the latter was last night preparing to publish what it had been told in the form of a tip-off. It seems that two overs were particularly targeted.
    Pakistan lost three early wickets in the match: one batsman bowled off his thigh pad, another edging behind a lovely away swinger and a third given lbw – a close verdict that on another day might have gone the other way – all of which must have made it hard to orchestrate precise slow scoring. They went on to win because of a wonderful spell of reverse-swing bowling by Umar Gul who took six for 42. But the ICC could hardly afford to be seen to be doing nothing. It had to act.



    Pakistan see matters somewhat differently. Butt, who did not support the provisional suspension of the Test captain Salman Butt and the bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer, was irate, as his comments in Pakistan yesterday demonstrate.
    Strauss seemed keen for the series to continue, though, he did not dismiss out of hand those who supported abandonment. "I can totally understand that viewpoint but it's a hard thing to stop a series when we don't know how credible the evidence is," he said. "I think we've got used to putting that to one side now. I think we've got used to focusing on the cricket side of things now. Clearly if the ICC had hard evidence of what was taking place then we would change our views."



    England have recalled Ian Bell to their squad, a summons which in normal circumstances would have been greeted with joy, instead of which the so-what factor has kicked in. Bell broke his foot during a one-day inter- national at Bristol in July but confirmed his return to full fitness with a captivating hundred in the CB40 final at Lord's on Saturday, a match that otherwise might have gone unnoticed.



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  2. #2
    DF Admin 4me2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tour hits fresh low after Butt accuses English over Oval match

    England captain Andrew Strauss outraged by fixing claim



    Strauss will urge his team to focus on the two matches remaining

    England captain Andrew Strauss has dismissed suggestions they deliberately lost last Friday's third one-day match against Pakistan in return for money.

    Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt told Indian TV some players were paid to lose, but later claimed his comments had been taken out of context.
    Strauss said: "We are deeply concerned and disappointed that our integrity has been brought into question.
    "We refute these allegations and will explore all legal options open to us."
    Strauss admitted that the England team had mixed feelings over whether to play Monday afternoon's fourth one-day game against the tourists at Lord's, but decided they had a responsibility to themselves and their supporters.
    "Under the circumstances, we have strong misgivings about continuing to play the last two games of the current series and urge the Pakistani team and management to distance themselves from Mr Butt's allegations," he said in a statement released by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
    "We do, however, recognise our responsibilities to the game of cricket - and in particular to the cricket-loving public in this country - and will therefore endeavour to fulfil these fixtures to the best of our ability."


    The International Cricket Council is looking into Pakistan's performance in Friday's third one-dayer at The Oval. They tourists won the match by 23 runs but the ICC announced it was investigating the match after receiving reports about "scoring patterns" during their innings.
    England needed 242 to win the game but lost their last five wickets for 17 and Butt responded to the ICC statement by claiming there was a "conspiracy to defraud Pakistan and Pakistan cricket".
    On Monday morning, Butt was reported to have told India's NDTV channel: "There is loud and clear talk in bookie circles that some English players were paid enormous amounts of money to lose. No wonder there was total collapse of the English side."
    However, speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, Butt later claimed he was only stating what he had heard and that he had no proof that England's players had thrown the game at The Oval.
    "The bookies have been talking about it and we will investigate the matter and come up with whatever proof we can provide," he said.
    "The total statement I made [to NDTV] categorically explained that the bookies are saying this. I am not saying this."


    Butt was asked in the NDTV interview whether the PCB had any proof of the allegations regarding English players.
    He replied: "Did you ask the other people who made allegations against our players whether they had any proof? What did they say? We have thought about this properly and we have positive proofs here before us just like they say they have also."
    England batting coach Graham Gooch dismissed speculation about the team's performance at The Oval, telling BBC Radio 5 live: "The English cricket team go out to win every match in their quest to become the best team in the world and I don't see anything different every time they prepare and play a game.
    "I think it's completely without foundation."
    The entire tour has been blighted by allegations that Pakistan players were involved in spot-fixing and deliberately bowled no-balls during the Lord's Test in August.
    This led to a police investigation and ICC charges against Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir - who have all now returned to Pakistan and are not involved in the one-day series. Fast bowler Wahab Riaz has also been interviewed about the matter

    The Pakistan board, meanwhile, is conducting its own investigations.
    "We feel august cricket bodies are... involved in this conspiracy, which will damage the great game of cricket," said Butt.
    "We have taken it in hand to start our own investigations. We will protest with the ICC for not taking the PCB into confidence on the issue of the spot-fixing scandal. We will take up this matter in the meeting of International Cricket Council on 11 October."
    The ICC said its chief executive, Haroon Lorgat, had discussed "matters of mutual interest" with Butt on Saturday.
    A spokesman said: "I cannot discuss the details of the meeting but I can confirm that at no stage Mr Butt indicated to the ICC chief executive that he'll take any legal action or write a letter to the ICC."



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  3. #3
    DF PlaYa yazooo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tour hits fresh low after Butt accuses English over Oval match

    This is getting silly now, tour should be cancelled. It is meaningless, and need to focus on the Ashes now.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Tour hits fresh low after Butt accuses English over Oval match

    Yep, fuck Pakistan Cricket, we can do without for a good long time. They are accusing us to deflect attention from themselves, enough already, definitely get on with Ashes prep!
    If at first you don't succeed.....redefine success. . . .

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  5. #5
    DF Jedi ibobsy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tour hits fresh low after Butt accuses English over Oval match

    England lose at Lords and I suppose there will another finger pointed in Englands direction that they took a bung and lost again.

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