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Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Tuesday, 31 August 2010 18:14 UK

England 'want Pakistan bet probe players banned'

England
England's players said they found it difficult to celebrate their victory at Lord's

The England team believes the Pakistan players named in the betting probe that has engulfed the tourists should sit out the rest of the tour.

England are set to play Pakistan in two Twenty20 matches and five one-dayers.

Professional Cricketers Association boss Angus Porter told the BBC the England team thought it "preferable" that those involved did not play.

It has also emerged that cricket agent Mazhar Majeed was arrested on Sunday by customs officials.

Pakistan players Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Kamran Akmal have all been questioned by police, although Akmal is no longer under investigation.

Porter said: "Speaking on behalf of the England team we can say we think it would be preferable if those individuals who are named do not play in the forthcoming series."

Pakistan officials are understood to agree that the three players under investigation should miss the series.

The man in charge of world cricket has told the BBC the three players should play no further part until investigations are completed.

International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat said: "It is our preference that they do not play."

606: DEBATE
Andie

The BBC can confirm that Mr Majeed, the man at the centre of the fixing allegations, and two others were arrested on Sunday as part of what HM Revenue and Customs said was an "ongoing investigation into money laundering". The others arrested were a woman from the Croydon area and a 49-year-old man. They have been questioned and given bail.

The arrests came after Mr Majeed had been bailed and released by Scotland Yard detectives on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers.

It is understood the HMRC investigation into Mr Majeed was active before the News of the World story making the fixing allegations was published and that it is a highly complex inquiry.

Money laundering investigations will often involve lengthy periods of surveillance to gather evidence before arrest.

Pakistan's team manager Yawar Saeed: "No allegations are true until they are proved"

The ICC has already said the tour will continue and England all-rounder Stuart Broad agreed the series should go ahead.

"We shouldn't call it off on the back of an investigation that is ongoing," said Broad, who scored 169 in England's win in the fourth Test at Lord's.

"It is up to others to decide if any of the Pakistan players involved in those allegations should miss those games."

Broad, whose innings at Lord's was the second-highest by a number nine in Test history, added that he and his team-mates were still in a "state of shock" over the allegations of spot-fixing.

"I never dreamt there was anything untoward about our victories," added the Nottinghamshire player, whose record-breaking knock helped seal an innings win and a 3-1 victory in the series.

"I have absolutely no doubts that Pakistan were giving everything to try to win that match.

"When Pakistan did not come out to practise on the fourth day, it did cross our minds that we might have another forfeited Test on our hands.

"When we shook hands with their players afterwards - and there was never any suggestion that we weren't going to do that - we just said the normal things even though it seemed wrong somehow to celebrate as strongly as we would normally do."

Spinner Graeme Swann said he had no qualms about the two Twenty20 matches and five one-day internationals going ahead.

"I love one-day cricket and, with nothing proved, I have no problem whatsoever who I play against," Swann, who took 22 wickets in the Test series against Pakistan, wrote in The Sun.

"What I want most is that cricket gets back in the papers for the right reasons - for someone to score an unbelievable hundred or produce a great spell of bowling.

"It's terrible for cricket to have something like this hanging over it. We want a clean game and that's what the spectators deserve."

However, former England captain Michael Vaughan questioned whether the final leg of the tour should proceed.

"It's difficult to focus on the series," he said. "Everybody will be looking back and asking questions.

"If I'd been playing and I'd got a hundred, or somebody like Graeme Swann who took so many wickets, you're bound to ask questions - are they legitimate runs or wickets?

"It's very difficult for the one-day series, everybody will be studying every aspect, any no-balls or wides or somebody getting out in a particular fashion."

And current England captain Andrew Strauss said it was up to cricket's administrators to decide whether the series should proceed or not.

"That is something for the ICC (International Cricket Council), ECB (England and Wales Cricket Broad) and PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) to sit down and decide what the best way forward is," he stated.

"Clearly there are going to be some very strong reasons for the series to go ahead, but they are also going to have to sit down and think about what is the right thing to do. That's their decision."



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see also
England drop Pietersen from squad
31 Aug 10 |  England
Players have case to answer - ICC
03 Sep 10 |  England
Aussies 'approached' by bookmaker
31 Aug 10 |  Australia
Pakistan face calls for life bans
30 Aug 10 |  Cricket


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
Sporting Life TRIO VOW TO CLEAR THEIR NAMES - 31 mins ago
Sky News Pakistan Trio Pull Out Of Tour - 1 hr ago
Film & Video Pakistan's Match-Fixing Row Players Dropped From Tour - 1 hr ago
Daily News South Africa No-ball scam: tainted trio face grilling - 1 hr ago
Manchester Evening News Pakistan drop Butt, Asif and Amir - 2 hrs ago


FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
Sporting Life TRIO VOW TO CLEAR THEIR NAMES - 31 mins ago
Sky News Pakistan Trio Pull Out Of Tour - 1 hr ago
Film & Video Pakistan's Match-Fixing Row Players Dropped From Tour - 1 hr ago
Daily News South Africa No-ball scam: tainted trio face grilling - 1 hr ago
Manchester Evening News Pakistan drop Butt, Asif and Amir - 2 hrs ago


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