England skipper, board rebut Butt’s claim of tie fixing

September 20th, 2010 - 8:28 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 20 (IANS) England cricket captain Andrew Strauss was outraged after Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) president Ijaz Butt alleged that the hosts lost wickets deliberately in Friday’s ODI at the Oval.
Strauss rebutted claims made by Butt in a strongly-worded England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) release Monday.

“We would like to express our surprise, dismay and outrage at the comments made by Mr Butt yesterday. 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,” Strauss said in a statement.

Strauss said his team has clearly had mixed feelings over the past few hours over whether to take the field for the fourth ODI at Lord’s Monday — but decided they have a responsibility to do so.

“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.” Strauss said.

“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 said.

Strauss’ statement comes after the PCB chairman claimed he was aware of bookmaker information that England’s cricketers had “taken enormous amounts of money” to fix Friday’s match, which the tourists won by 23 runs to make the series score 2-1.

In a statement ECB said: “The ECB and the England players completely reject the remarks made by PCB chairman Ijaz Butt yesterday about the England team’s conduct in the third Nat West ODI at the Brit Insurance Oval. Mr Butt’s comments were wholly irresponsible and completely without foundation.”

“The ECB expresses its gratitude for the outstanding conduct of the England team this summer and will take all legal and disciplinary action which may result from Mr Butt’s comments,” the ECB said.

“The board and the team, however, are of a view that it remains in the best interests of world cricket, the players and in particular of cricket supporters, that the tour should continue - and it would set a dangerous precedent to call off a tour based on the misguided and inaccurate remarks made by one individual,” it said.

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