Karachi: Embattled PCB chairman Ejaz Butt has come under fierce criticism from former Pakistan players and administrators for accusing the English players of throwing the third one-dayer at the Oval last Friday.
"I`m surprised by what the PCB chief has said because he has just taken a step to spoil relations with the only board which was supporting us strongly at a time when others are not willing to tour Pakistan for security reasons," said former Test opener and national coach Mudassar Nazar said.
"I don’t think this was the right time to come out with such a strong statement as it was the ECB which has helped us in organising our home series," Nazar said.
Butt stirred the hornet`s nest yesterday when he pointed his finger towards the English cricketers for their role in the batting collapse that cost England the third ODI.
"There is loud and clear talk in the bookies circle that some English players were paid enormous amounts of money to lose the match," Butt had said to BBC Radio Five Live.
Former captain Aamir Sohail said there was no need for Butt to start another controversy.
"The same thing could have been said in a more diplomatic manner even if he had any information about English players," Sohail said.
"It would suffice to say that the failure of England to take the power play overs while batting in the third ODI had raised few eyebrows," Sohail added.
Zaheer Abbas, another former skipper, felt that it was time Pakistan took a strong stance on the spot-fixing allegations.
"Right now all these are allegations but it is sad to see the way the ICC, other boards and the media is running down our cricket and players," Abbas said.
"I felt the PCB should have adopted a more respectable and pro-active stance from the start of this controversy," he said.
Former top officials of the board including Arif Abbasi, Shaharyar Khan and Khalid Mehmood also criticised Butt. "The remarks by Butt are ridiculous and you don`t expect such comments from a board Chairman. It is not going to help Pakistan cricket at all," Mehmood said.
"The statement would further isolate Pakistan cricket in the international community," he said.
Former PCB chief Shaharyar Khan said if Butt had any information about involvement of English players in fixing he should have shared it with the ICC and Scotland Yard instead of going public with it.
"We are going to achieve nothing by making such statements. I think the PCB needs to rethink its strategy on this spot-fixing issue," Khan said.