Match-Fix Row: England Demand Full Apology

The England team have demanded a “full and unreserved apology” from Pakistan’s cricket chief – with a warning they will take legal action if they do not get one.

The move follows claims by Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt that Engkland players threw the third one-day international at the Brit Oval. The controversy arose when Butt said on television in Pakistan: “There is loud and clear talk in bookie circles that some English players have taken enormous amounts of money to lose the match. “No wonder there was such a collapse.”

The fourth and fifth matches of the series went ahead as planned despite reports England would pull out. But now the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Professional Cricketers Association (PCA) have threatened to take action. They have issued a statement saying: “The ECB and the PCA today confirmed that a pre-action letter has been sent on behalf of the England cricket team to Ijaz Butt, Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board. “(It follows) his allegations that the England cricket team were involved in fixing the outcome of the third NatWest Series One Day International between England and Pakistan, played at The Brit Insurance Oval on September 17th 2010.

“The letter seeks a full and unreserved apology. “Mr Butt has been advised that if a satisfactory response is not received, legal proceedings will be commenced against him without further notice.” The match-fixing row has been just one part of a summer of controversy which ended when England wrapped up the NatWest Series with a 121-run win at the Rose Bowl to clinch a 3-2 triumph. Police investigations are ongoing into claims Test captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif were part of a ‘spot-fixing’ scam.

This allegedly involved the pacemen deliberately bowling no-balls during the fourth Test between Pakistan and England last month. The trio, who maintain their innocence, have been suspended by the International Cricket Council. A fourth player, Wahab Riaz, was interviewed before being unconditionally released by police – Skynews