Thu, Sep 30, 2010 - Page 19 News List

Pakistan’s cricket boss opts against apology in London

AFP, LONDON

Pakistan cricket chief Ijaz Butt flew into England on Tuesday still steadfastly refusing to apologize for his role in a row over “spot-fixing” that has been the talk of world cricket

Pakistan’s recent tour of England, where they also played Australia in a neutral series, was marred by spot-fixing allegations.

The tour ended in acrimony when Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Butt alleged England players were paid “enormous amounts of money” to lose the third one-day international at The Oval, sparking a furious row between the two countries’ cricket officials.

Legal action

England players and the England and Wales Cricket Board have threatened legal action unless they receive an unreserved apology from Butt who, at the time, said he was simply repeating something he’d heard from bookmakers.

Butt, due to meet with his London lawyers yesterday, gave little away when asked by reporters after getting off his plane on Tuesday if he’d apologize.

“I will talk to you people once I am through with my visit here,” he said.

As to whether he was ready for legal action if he didn’t apologize, Butt said: “It depends, we’ll see what happens.”

“There is a lot of confusion, once I am through [with this visit] most of this confusion will be overcome,” Butt said.

Butt is due to meet Elizabeth Robertson, the British lawyer representing Pakistani players and the PCB over the spot-fixing allegations.

Scotland Yard

He is also expected to meet Scotland Yard officers who have already interviewed Test captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Aamer and Wahab Riaz

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has provisionally suspended Salman Butt, Aamer and Asif following a newspaper report the trio were involved in a plot to bowl no-balls deliberately during a Test against England at Lord’s.

The ICC has launched a separate inquiry into the Sept. 17 one-dayer at The Oval after British tabloid the Sun said the scoring pattern of Pakistan’s innings in the match was pre-arranged with bookmakers.

Butt also met ICC officials last week in an unsuccessful attempt to get the provisional suspension on the three players lifted.

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