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PCB threatens to sue ICC, diplomats speak in different voices

Miffed with the suspension of the three Pakistani cricketers implicated in the 'spot-fixing' scandal, the PCB today threatened to sue the ICC if the players are found innocent even as the country's diplomats struck a discordant note with contradictory statements on the matter.

cricket Updated: Sep 04, 2010 17:32 IST

Miffed with the suspension of the three Pakistani cricketers implicated in the 'spot-fixing' scandal, the PCB on Saturday threatened to sue the ICC if the players are found innocent even as the country's diplomats struck a discordant note with contradictory statements on the matter.

A day after Test captain Salman Butt and pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir were suspended by the ICC and questioned by the Scotland Yard, PCB's legal advisor Talib Rizvi said that if the trio is found innocent, the PCB would consider taking legal action against the ICC.

"I want to make it clear that the PCB will consider legal action against the ICC and other bodies if our players are found innocent because we feel the ICC has bypassed some of its own procedures in suspending the players in this case," Rizvi said.

He also emphasised that at the moment there was no criminal investigation going on against the three players, who were released without charge by the Scotland Yard after questioning in London.

"It is just a preliminary inquiry and nothing more. They are being questioned. No investigations have been held," he added.

Even as the controversy raged on, Pakistan's response appeared contradictory with its High Commissioner in Britain Wajid Shamsul Hasan continuing to attack the ICC for suspending the trio but the country's envoy to the United Nations Abdullah Haroon asking for punishment for those found guilty in the scandal.

Launching yet another scathing attack on ICC, Hasan said by dropping Aamir from the list of its' annual awards nominees, the body has strengthened his apprehensions that "there is a rat in the whole affair".

Hasan, who was described by an unnamed fellow diplomat as a "loose cannon", said the removal of Aamir from the list of nominees for ICC's 'Emerging Player of the Year' award violates the principle of "innocent until proven guilty".

"After the shocking, arbitrary and high-handed suspension of the three Pakistani cricketers through the ICC's uncalled for action, nothing is coming to me as a surprise. Rather, my apprehensions that there is a rat in the whole affair are being strengthened. It is emerging as a fishy situation where pieces have now started falling in place to convince me that there is more than meet the eyes," he said.

The Pakistani diplomat termed the ICC's action against the tainted trio as "malafide and sinister" and said it was done to cover up its own wrongdoings.