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Three arrested in Britain over Pak match-fixing case

Two men and a woman have been arrested in Britain in connection with allegations that Pakistani cricket players were involved in a betting scam, customs officials said on Tuesday. Crooked cricket | What is spot-fixing | In pics

cricket Updated: Aug 31, 2010 21:20 IST

Two men and a woman have been arrested in Britain in connection with allegations that Pakistani cricket players were involved in a betting scam, customs officials said on Tuesday.

"Three individuals were arrested on Sunday as part of an ongoing investigation into money laundering," said a statement from HM Revenue and Customs, with media reports saying the arrests were linked to the Pakistan row.

The statement added: "This includes two 35-year-olds (a male and a female) from the Croydon area and a 49-year-old male from the Wembley area. These individuals were arrested, questioned and have been bailed pending further investigation."

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Meanwhile, Pakistan's cricket board said it would not suspend players accused over a betting scam while the claims are investigated, but reports said they would be dropped for the remaining matches in England.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has promised "prompt and decisive action" if the allegations made by a British Sunday newspaper are proven.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has summoned the players at the centre of the claims to a meeting in London on Wednesday, but said it would not suspend any player while police continue to investigate.

"Chairman Ijaz Butt just told me that since there is a case going on with the Scotland Yard we are not going to suspend any player," a PCB spokesman told AFP.

"He further said that this is only an allegation so far. There is still no charge or proof on that account. So at this stage there will be no action taken."

The News of the World alleges that a middleman took 150,000 pounds (185,000 euros, 230,000 dollars) to arrange for Pakistani players to deliberately bowl no-balls in the final Test match against England in London last week.

The information would be of enormous value to the spot-betting industry, in which money is wagered on specific incidents in matches.

The beleaguered Pakistan team was preparing for the rest of the tour in Taunton, southwest England, where officials insisted on holding a training session behind closed doors on Tuesday.

But three of the players named in the allegations -- Test team captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif -- have been summoned to a meeting with top Pakistani officials in London on Wednesday.

Team manager Yawar Saeed said they would meet with Ijaz Butt and the Pakistani high commissioner (ambassador) to Britain, Wajid Shamsul Hasan.

It appears increasingly likely the three players will play no part in the rest of the tour, which comprises Twenty20 matches and a series of one-day internationals against England.

Pakistan begin their preparations for the matches with a practice game against English county Somerset on Thursday, before the first Twenty20 fixture against England in Cardiff on Sunday.

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