England have `no grudges` against Pakistan: Trott

Leeds (England): England batsman Jonathan Trott insisted on Saturday his side bore "no grudges" against Pakistan despite the `spot-fixing` row engulfing the tourists and his own very public bust-up with Kamran Akmal.

Trott made 69 as England beat Pakistan by 24 runs to win the first one-day international at Chester-le-Street yesterday but in the same match exchanged angry words with Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Akmal.

His innings came on the same day as three Pakistan players - Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif returned home after being suspended by the International Cricket Council following allegations they all conspired to deliberately bowl no-balls in last month`s fourth Test at Lord`s.

Even before the trio were suspended, England had made it clear they would be unhappy to play against them in this month`s five-match one-day series.

The three banned players have all been interviewed by British police and seamer Wahab Riaz, still in the one-day squad, also faces similar questioning.

Meanwhile, the allegations have also re-ignited the controversy surrounding the Sydney Test in January where Akmal dropped several catches and missed a run-out as Australia came from behind to complete an extraordinary victory over Pakistan.

At Chester-le-Street the umpires had to intervene to cool tempers but Trott was adamant his spat with Akmal was not part of a deliberate attempt to `wind-up` Pakistan.

"It was just a few things that go on the field," Trott, speaking to reporters at England`s hotel here today, explained.

"I said a few words, and he was saying a few - and the umpires got in the middle of it, and made a mountain out of a molehill really," he added ahead of the second one-day international at Headingley here tomorrow.

Pressed on whether England were trying to "get under Pakistan`s skin", Trott replied, "Not at all, nothing like that.”

"We don`t have any grudges, or anything. We just play cricket...I didn`t say anything that extraordinary."

Publicly, England, although concerned by the allegations, have repeatedly said they are happy to play against whomsoever Pakistan now select.

"It`s something the players feel strongly about, but we can`t do anything more than play the game against 11 people put out in front of us," Trott said.

"All we can do, as a team and individuals, is get on with the job.”

Trott has been playing in a one-day side without fellow South Africa-born batsman Kevin Pietersen, who has returned to county action in search of runs ahead of England`s defence of the Ashes in Australia later this year.

The 29-year-old Trott revealed he`d sent his erstwhile team-mate a congratulatory text message after Pietersen made a one-day hundred for Surrey against Sussex.

"When he got his hundred the other day, everyone was chuffed. I sent him a text, and said `well done - that`s very good`.

"I don`t see it as rivals; I don`t see Kevin or anyone else as a rival; I see them as a team-mate.”

"He`s a great player - and I`m very, very sure he`ll bounce back and have a huge role in the England cricket side in the future."

By contrast, Trott is having a "huge" role in the side right now.

Since making a hundred on Test debut against Australia at The Oval just over a year ago, the 29-year-old Warwickshire batsman averages 55 in the five-day game and more than 70 in one-day internationals.

"It`s been a pretty successful year -- long may it continue," Trott said.

As for his exploits, including an innings of 184 at Lord`s during the now infamous fourth Test, being `overshadowed` by the scandal enveloping Pakistan.

Trott added, "I don`t really play cricket for the limelight. That`s not the be-all and end-all."

Bureau Report

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