'Didn't make fixing allegations against England players'
After apologising to the England Cricket Board, PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt now says he never made any allegations of match-fixing against English players and was only trying to make the point that the sport is "reeling from a storm of allegations and rumours".india Updated: Oct 07, 2010 12:56 IST
After apologising to the England Cricket Board, PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt now says he never made any allegations of match-fixing against English players and was only trying to make the point that the sport is "reeling from a storm of allegations and rumours".
Butt, who returned from London last night, said his comments that there are strong rumours about English players taking money to lose matches were only meant to highlight the fluid state of affairs in international cricket.
"I am happy to correct the misunderstanding that I, or anyone at the PCB had made any allegations about members of the England cricket team. The point which I have sought to make from the beginning was that the world of cricket is reeling from a storm of allegations and rumours, and these must be addressed," Butt said in a statement.
"Many of these recent allegations have concerned the Pakistan cricket team, and these must and will be properly investigated. But, and this was my point, the problem, and the rumors, are not confined to any single country," he added.
Butt said the PCB was fully cooperating with the ongoing spot-fixing investigations against three suspended Pakistani players -- Test skipper Salman Butt and pacer Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir.
"Those of us who care about the state of cricket in the world today will not flinch from a thorough, uncompromising investigation of any such allegations and rumors, whether they concern Pakistan or any other cricketing nation, and we at the PCB will give any such investigation our fullest cooperation and support," Butt said.
Butt also made it clear that he or anyone at the PCB have no specific evidence of any wrongdoing by cricketers from England.
"Our priority and our responsibility must be the actions of the Pakistan Team. These are quite properly subject now to an investigation by both Scotland Yard and the ICC. I am very glad that we have been able to resolve this misunderstanding with our friends in English cricket.
"We have all agreed to put this behind us now, and to concentrate on working together for the good of the game. (ECB chairman) Mr Giles Clarke has confirmed that he continues in his role as the ICC Pakistan Task Team Chairman," the statement said.
Butt, however, declined to comment on growing rumours of his impending removal from the board.
"I have also read about and heard about it," Butt said and turned away from the media when asked to comment on reports that the government had decided to either sack him or ask him to tender his resignation.
Butt has been under fire for his handling of cricket affairs and their are indications that the chief patron of the board, President Asif Zardari might be losing his patience with him.
The former Test player did a big U-turn while in London on his earlier statement that he had heard talk in the bookmakers circle about English cricketers being involved in throwing matches.
He not only withdrew his statement in a meeting with the ECB officials.
Butt said the Scotland Yard had not charged the players but declined to give details of his meeting with them.
But source said the Scotland Yard officials had told Butt they had handed over preliminary evidence to the crown prosecutions office and would now wait for it to take a decision on whether there was enough evidence to formally charge the three players.