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Monday, August 30, 2010

Pakistan Cricket tour will continue-ICC

International Cricket Council president Sharad Pawar says Pakistan's tour of England will continue despite spot-fixing claims against some players.

"Police have not yet completed their investigation," said Pawar.

"It is the desire of the ICC and the cricket boards of England and Pakistan that the game should continue." There is no indication the four players questioned about spot-fixing - Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Kamran Akmal - are facing suspension.

Test captain Butt, fast bowlers Amir and Asif and wicketkeeper Akmal were questioned by police at the team's hotel in London on Sunday following a report that some Pakistan players had been bribed to fix incidents during the fourth Test against England at Lord's. The allegations centred on three no-balls from Amir and Asif which the News of the World newspaper said had been bowled on purpose at pre-determined times to facilitate betting coups after a "middle man" accepted £150,000 in cash from an undercover reporter.
The man identified as the alleged go-between, cricket agent Mazhar Majeed, 35, has been released on police bail after being arrested on Saturday on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers.

On Monday, the Pakistan team coach left London for Taunton ahead of a match against Somerset on Thursday.

Pakistan are then due to continue their tour with two Twenty20 internationals and five one-day internationals against England in September.

Test captain Butt - the one-day side is led by Shahid Afridi - boarded the coach with Amir, Asif and Akmal, plus the rest of his team-mates, despite calls from a number of quarters for the quartet to be suspended from the final part of the tour pending investigations. There were audible, but isolated, shouts of abuse from at least one member of the public after a crowd gathered to watch the players leave London.

Somerset chief executive Richard Gould said he expected the team to receive a "warm welcome" on Thursday. He added: "They have a net session booked in for Wednesday and if they want anything else we will be happy to provide it. This game has been looked forward to by many of our supporters and members and we think they will give the Pakistan team a warm welcome."


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