PCB asks ICC not to suspend alleged `fixers`

Zeecric Bureau

Islamabad: Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ejaz Butt came out in full support of the tainted trio of Salman Butt, Mohd Asif and Mohd Amir after the three were named in ‘spot-fixing’.

The soft stand of PCB was clear on Thursday when the PCB officially asked the International Cricket Council not to ban the players and appealed for the final investigation report to come out before any decisive action was taken on the cricketers’ future.

“PCB has asked ICC not to suspend players. There is no evidence on the trio, the players cooperated with the probe. PCB can’t take any action before the work report is out,” Butt said in a press conference in Islamabad.

"They were interviewed for nine hours. If there was anything against them they would have been arrested. They did not arrest them," he said.

Butt however did not say why Riaz will be interrogated by the police. "Police has also asked Wahab Riaz should be made available to them for an interview on 14/09/2010 and we have arranged for the interview in London."

Riaz will be the fourth Pakistani player to be questioned by police. Test captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were provisionally suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) last week.

"Since the players are neither being charged nor is there any restriction on their movement, we have informed the police that they will be travelling back to Pakistan in the next few days," Butt said.

He said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) would continue to cooperate with the police. "Rest assured we will leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of the issue."

Refusing to go into details of the scandal since the matter was still under investigation, Butt said on August 29 Scotland Yard police came to hotel where the players were staying with warrants to search the rooms of 13 players.

"They took away some of the players` belongings but no incriminating material has been shared with us."

The apex cricket board of Pakistan also ruled out an independent investigation of their own into the scandal that shook cricket saying that nothing could be done till the British investigation agencies gave their final report and added that the tainted players would be returning to Pakistan soon as there were no charges on them yet.