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Pakistan axe Butt, Amir and Asif

Samlan Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir


Samlan Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir

Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed has confirmed Test captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir will play no further part on the current tour of England.

The trio are at the centre of allegations of ‘spot-fixing’ over claims Asif and Aamer bowled no-balls during the fourth Test defeat to England and are currently in London assisting with a police investigation.

Saeed, speaking from Taunton where Pakistan play Somerset today, said: “The T20 squad will remain what it is here this morning, ie 13 people.

“When we play the one-day internationals we will be asking for replacements to make the squad up to 16.

“The (three) players have not been suspended.”

Butt, Asif and Aamer travelled from Taunton to London last night for meetings today with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt and Pakistan’s high commissioner to the UK.

They are being quizzed over a News of the World report which said journalists posing as Far Eastern businessmen paid a middleman £150,000 to arrange for Pakistan players to deliberately bowl no-balls in last week’s fourth Test against England.

Following the report, Mazhar Majeed, 35, a cricket agent who also owns Croydon Athletic Football Club, was arrested by Scotland Yard detectives and later released on police bail.

The three players were also questioned by police at the weekend at their London hotel and had their mobile phones confiscated.

Haroon Lorgat, of the sport’s ruling body the International Cricket Council (ICC), has said he hopes there will be “some sort of a conclusion” to its own investigation by the weekend.

The ICC’s anti-corruption and security unit is probing the claims and Mr Lorgat has said “prompt and decisive action” would be taken against anyone who sought to harm the game’s integrity.

Cricketers found guilty of cheating could be thrown out of the sport but Mr Lorgat has said “a couple of individuals that might have got caught up in corrupt practices” should not bring the entire game to a standstill.

The claims are the latest in a string of match-fixing allegations to dog the Pakistan team since the 1990s.

Three people have also been arrested by Customs officials in connection with betting allegations against Pakistani players.

Two men and a woman, all from London, were questioned on Monday as part of an investigation into money laundering before being released on bail, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has said.


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