Sunday 18 February 2018

Diplomatic row erupts as three cricketers questioned

Martin Hickman

THREE Pakistan cricketers at the centre of match-fixing allegations were questioned by detectives yesterday amid an emerging diplomatic row over their behaviour.

Police interviewed separately the Test captain of the national side, Salman Butt, and the bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer. All three have been charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC) with "various offences" under its anti-corruption code and provisionally banned.

The charges follow the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) failure to bring any charges against the men, who continued to play in the Fourth Test against England at Lord's on Sunday after a newspaper alleged they were prepared to harm their team by bowling no-balls for a betting syndicate in return for money. But the PCB has withdrawn them from the squad for a limited-overs series against England because of the "mental torture" they have endured.

Yesterday, Pakistan's most senior diplomat in Britain accused the ICC of "playing to the public gallery".

Wajid Hasan, the High Commissioner, said he believed the trio played no part in an alleged plot during the Lord's defeat, which led to England winning the series 3-1. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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