Never accused England team of fixing: Butt
Karachi/London: A day after suggesting that English players had thrown the Oval ODI match, PCB chairman Ejaz Butt on Monday did a U-turn and said he never accused the England team of match-fixing.
Butt said he was just referring to the information received from bookies relating to the one-dayer between England and Pakistan at the Oval on Friday.
"I have never said this. If you listen to the full tape of the NDTV interview, the bookies are saying this. I am not saying this," Butt told a radio station.
The Pakistan Cricket Board chief said the five-match ODI series should continue despite all the latest controversy which erupted after England lost their third ODI in Oval.
"If they (the England and Wales Cricket Board) want to scrap it they can scrap it, we will go ahead with it," Butt said.
The remaining two one-day matches are scheduled to be held at Lord`s today and Southampton on Wednesday.
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 ODI at The Oval.
"There is loud and clear talk in the bookies circle that some English players were paid enormous amounts of money to lose the match," he had said.
"No wonder there was a total collapse of the English side. We won the match and we are under suspicion. England lost, their players should be investigated," he said.
Butt was unhappy with the latest fixing allegations against his team after the ICC launched a fresh investigation into claims by the `Sun` newspaper that said bookmakers knew the details of Pakistan`s innings during Friday`s match which the visitors won by 23 runs.
The ICC later said it was investigating the match as it had been provided creditable information by the newspaper that there was spot-fixing involved in the game.
Butt remarks have not gone down well with the English cricketers and an infuriated England skipper Andrew Strauss today threatened Butt with legal action.
"We would like to express our surprise, dismay and outrage at the comments made by Mr Butt yesterday," Strauss said in a statement.
"We are deeply concerned and disappointed that our integrity as cricketers has been brought into question. We refute these allegations completely and will be working closely with the ECB to explore all legal options open to us.”
"Under the circumstances, we have strong misgivings about continuing to play the last two games of the current series and urge the Pakistani team and management to distance themselves from Mr Butt`s allegations.”
"We do, however, recognise our responsibilities to the game of cricket, and in particular to the cricket-loving public in this country, and will therefore endeavour to fulfil these fixtures to the best of our ability," Strauss`s statement added, which was made public shortly before the toss in the fourth one-day international at Lord`s.