Trott-Riaz row `closed matter` says ECB chief

London: England batsman Jonathan Trott`s pre-match altercation with Pakistan`s Wahab Riaz ahead of the fourth one-day international here at Lord`s on Monday was now a "closed matter" according to England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive David Collier.

South Africa-born Trott and Pakistan`s Riaz, not in the team on Monday, squared up to one another in the nets at Lord`s.

Their confrontation was the latest visible sign of the tension that has built up during a season where Pakistan`s tour of Britain has been overshadowed by allegations of `spot-fixing`.

Trott, later out for just four, and Riaz clashed just a day after Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt stoked the row by suggesting England players had received "enormous sums of money" to lose deliberately last week`s third ODI across London at The Oval.

"There was an altercation," Collier said. "It was fairly minor in nature. It was regrettable, but it happened."

Collier was glad match referee Jeff Crowe, the former New Zealand captain, was on hand to calm rising tempers.

"We are very fortunate that we have the experience of a neutral man in Jeff Crowe here, who dealt with it immediately," added Collier. "It is a closed matter.”

"I think feelings have been high in the last 24 hours. We don`t hide behind that, though. We admit feelings were strong, so that is bound to spill over."

England captain Andrew Strauss, speaking after a match Pakistan won by 38 runs to level the series at 2-2, having been 2-0 down, said the confrontation between the two players was "an isolated incident".

However, he added: "It wasn`t an ideal start. There was some chat, I wasn`t there but the incident has been dealt with."

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis, whose side have come from 2-0 behind in this series to be all square ahead of Wednesday`s finale at the Rose Bowl, also tried to play down the confrontation, saying: "I don`t know what was said but it was sorted before the game started.”

"The game started in a pleasant way and it finished in a pleasant way."

Earlier, Strauss spoke of his side`s "surprise, dismay and outrage" at the comments made by Butt on Sunday, adding the team would be exploring "all legal options open to us".

Nevertheless, Strauss said England had decided to play Monday`s match and the Rose Bowl fixture because "we do, however, recognise our responsibilities to the game of cricket."

Pakistan have had to confront allegations of spot-fixing ever since Test captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif were named in a newspaper report and subsequently suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) over claims they planned to bowl no-balls deliberately during last month`s Test against England at Lord`s.

Bureau Report