Spot-fixing a conspiracy to defraud Pak cricket: PCB

Karachi: Terming the spot-fixing scandal surrounding his team as a conspiracy, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ejaz Butt today criticised the ICC for not taking the board into confidence before launching an investigation into the third one-dayer against England.

Butt said he was unhappy with the latest fixing allegations against his team and pointed his finger towards the English cricketers for their role in the batting collapse that cost England the ODI at The Oval.

"We will hold our own inquiry into these allegations of spot fixing in the third one-day match. But we are disappointed that the ICC didn`t bother to take us into confidence on the matter," Butt, who is in Dubai to meet with the ICC officials, told a news channel.

"We won the match and we were told that our players are suspected of spot fixing. England lost the match and their players should be investigated. A team that wins a match does not fix it.”

"There are rumours in the bookmaking circle about English players betting. They say there is a conspiracy to defraud the bookies we think this is a conspiracy to defraud Pakistan cricket.”

"There is a conspiracy going on against us and we are also now holding out own inquiry and we will soon expose those behind this. We will also be lodging a protest with the ICC for not taking us into confidence before announcing they were investigating the third ODI," Butt said.

The charges come in the wake of the `spot-fixing` allegations against three Pakistan players, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt, who were accused of deliberately bowling no-balls in the fourth Test against England last month.

The ICC has also 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 said so far the PCB and its players cooperated fully in the ongoing investigations but after the fresh allegations, the PCB has every right to feel upset and defrauded.

"It is not only difficult but near impossible to stop this spot fixing thing in international matches. I don`t think our players are involved in any fixing matches," Butt added.

He said Pakistani players and cricket had been unfairly labelled as cheats in the media.

"If this is not a conspiracy then what is it? None of our players have been proven guilty. All we have are allegations and yet our players are being targeted.”

"Our players fought hard to win the third ODI and it is astonishing to know they were told the match is under investigation now," he said.