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Accused players will return to Pakistan, says Butt

cricket Updated: Sep 09, 2010 19:44 IST

AFP
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Pakistan's cricket chief, Ijaz Butt, on Thursday said three players under investigation in Britain for corruption can return home as no charges had been brought against them. Butt also said a fourth player, Wahab Riaz, would stay in Britain to be interviewed by police.

Pakistan Test team captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif have been interrogated by police over claims that they took money to deliberately bowl no-balls against England at Lord's last month.

"Since the players have not been charged we have informed Scotland Yard that they will be travelling back to Pakistan within the next few days," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt told a press conference.

Seven players fell under suspicion after a newspaper sting targeting the Pakistan team's alleged spot-fixing, and Butt said a fourth player, Wahab Riaz, would stay in Britain to be interviewed by police.

"We have arranged for his interview as we will continue to cooperate and we want to get to the bottom of the matter," Butt said.

The News of the World has published a video report showing Riaz taking a jacket from bookmaker Mazhar Majeed -- the alleged middleman in the spot-fixing scam -- which had 10,000 pounds (15,400 dollars) in it.

The newspaper reported it had paid an agent 150,000 pounds for advance knowledge of no-balls to be bowled by Pakistan in the Test, which could then be bet upon.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has provisionally suspended captain Butt and bowlers Aamer and Asif for violating a players' code of conduct over the corruption claims.

Another player, Kamran Akmal, has been informed by the ICC that he is under investigation in relation to Pakistan's matches in the World Twenty20 in the West Indies in April-May this year, and the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka a month later, Butt said.