As soon as news spread of the ICC's decision to suspend the trio at the heart of a spot-fixing investigation the reactions began pouring in. From the team manager to the politicians to former cricketers, everyone had their say.
Ride the pressure, says team manager
Team manager Yawar Saeed urged his squad to stay strong. "We are human beings. Everybody has pressures in life - we have to ride the pressure, not give in to the pressure," Saeed said. He added that the squad had every intention of staying on for the rest of the tour, which comprises two Twenty20 matches and a five-match one-day series against England, insisting canceling it had "never crossed my mind."
Irfan, Shafiq called up as replacements
The Pakistan Cricket Board today announced the names of young batsman Asad Shafiq and left-arm pace bowler Mohammad Irfan as replacements for the suspended trio. Although ICC suspended three players the board named only two replacements.The two players will join the team in London next week.
"The two are presently playing in Sri Lanka with the national A team. The selectors have picked them as replacements as they were among the standbys for the one-day series," a board official said.
Shafiq has played one ODI in the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka in June. Irfan is yet to make his debut for the national team. Both performed exceptionally well in domestic cricket.
PCB ineptitude to blame: Ex-selectors
Iqbal Qasim and Salhuddin Ahmed, who both served Pakistan as players and selectors, blamed the PCB for the sorry state of affairs within the team. "The ICC has suspended the players because the PCB showed reluctance in acting," said Qasim.
"In fact, statements from Pakistani officials that no players would be suspended forced the ICC to take action."
Salahuddin felt that it would have been wise for the PCB to step in.
"The PCB should have suspended the players after Sunday's report in the newspaper, because these players would never have been in the right frame of mind after all those allegations," he said.
"We haven't seen anything from PCB chairman Ijaz Butt, and the manager (Saeed) is unable to answer any question asked to him by the media, so all this ineptitude is coming from the PCB and its officials."
Sports Minister threatens lawsuit
Pakistan Sports Minister Aijaz Jakhrani has threatened to sue the News of the World, whose story opened up a can of worms, if the players in question come out clean in investigations.
"A player is the representative of a country. Salman Butt is a Pakistan player so is Asif and Amir. So it is the name of the country which is at stake.
"In case the allegations are not proved, definitely we will sue them (the newspaper). British laws are strict in this regard," Jakhrani told a Pakistani TV channel.
Amir dropped from ICC award list
The name of the suspended Pakistan paceman Mohammad Aamir will be removed from the list of nominees for the ICC Emerging Player of the Year award. The 18-year-old Aamir, was one of the favourites to bag the honour.
"In accordance with the provisions of the code, this means they are immediately barred from participating in all cricket and related activities until the case has been concluded," ICC had said in a statement.