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Page last updated at 19:05 GMT, Tuesday, 14 September 2010 20:05 UK

Pakistan's Butt, Amir and Asif to contest ICC charges


Pakistan players have 'case to answer' - ICC

The three Pakistan cricketers suspended over spot-fixing allegations will contest the International Cricket Council (ICC) charges against them.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif had written to the ICC "indicating their intention to defend themselves".

The trio also face a police probe, with Wahab Riaz becoming the fourth player interviewed under caution on Tuesday.

The ICC, meanwhile, has announced a review of its anti-corruption measures.

Butt, Amir and Asif were last month caught by a News of the World sting which alleged they accepted money to deliberately bowl no-balls during the fourth Test against England at Lord's.

They were provisionally suspended and charged by the ICC, and were also questioned by Scotland Yard detectives over the allegations.

Police allowed the trio to leave Pakistan's current tour of England and return home, on the proviso they would return if required.

A PCB statement, released through its London lawyers, added that the ICC had granted the trio additional time to "respond fully to the charges."

It is not enough that the ICC is regarded by other sporting organisations as a leader in the battle against corruption in sport

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat

"The players have expressed concern that the ICC's investigation could prejudice the police investigation, and have requested additional time to respond fully to the charges," the PCB statement explained.

The players also met with PCB chairman Ijaz Butt in Lahore on Tuesday, although no details of the meeting were revealed.

Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed said Riaz spent about 30 minutes with officers, while the PCB claimed the fast bowler, who remains a member of the tour squad, was "unconditionally released" after being quizzed at Kilburn Police Station in north London.

The controversy has raised questions about the ICC's ability to combat corruption in the sport, and, following calls from all 10 Test-playing nations, the international governing body's chief executives' committee has proposed a potentially independent review of its anti-corruption measures.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat revealed a review is already underway, adding that his organisation would try to work with governments.

"It is not enough that the ICC is regarded by other sporting organisations as a leader in the battle against corruption in sport," said the South African.

"I am especially keen to engage with governments to consider the regulation of betting and also to consider the accreditation of player representatives or agents.

"While the present investigations are ongoing we will not discuss or comment on any specific issues but this incident is a warning for all of us. We must heed those warnings and heed them quickly."

The fall-out from the controversy continued apace on Tuesday when former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif resigned as a coach of his country's national cricket academy.

Latif claimed he has accepted an offer to become head coach of the Afghan team - just three weeks after he resigned as the nation's batting coach, citing excessive interference.

But he also revealed that criticisms he made of the ICC last week had perturbed his former employers and, effectively, forced his hand.

"I have taken the decision to resign after being issued a notice by the [Pakistan Cricket] Board for having given statements on the spot-fixing issue," Latif stated.

"I would like to make it clear here that while it is an honour to serve Pakistan cricket in any position, I can't remain quiet on a key cricket issue that could determine the future of our cricket."

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Latif had said the ICC was "powerless" in the fight against betting scams.

A match-fixing whistleblower in 1994 who subsequently testified against disgraced team-mate Salim Malik, Latif had also suggested that the ICC needed to change the rules of one-day internationals to combat spot-fixing.

"I told the ICC [in a letter in 2003] to remove the fielding restrictions and they introduced the power-play which only encouraged fixing," Latif told the Press Trust of India.

Latif was also quoted in Australian newspaper The Age as saying players from every cricket nation were involved in spot-fixing, and that some matches were "scripted like movies".

Lorgat, though, believed some reporting had led to unfair and unsubstantiated allegations against some players.

"The reputation and safety of a player is also paramount and to suggest anything untoward without any substantiation or firm evidence is irresponsible and most unfair on a player," he said.

The CEC comprises the chief executives of the 10 Test-playing members and three representatives from affiliate countries.

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see also
ICC set to bring in Test play-off
15 Sep 10 |  Cricket
ICC backed to stop betting scams
10 Sep 10 |  Pakistan
Accused trio return to Pakistan
11 Sep 10 |  Pakistan
Riaz to face police questioning
09 Sep 10 |  Pakistan
'Banish Pakistan trio if guilty'
05 Sep 10 |  Cricket
Pakistan trio keen to see row end
04 Sep 10 |  England
Aussies 'approached' by bookmaker
31 Aug 10 |  Australia
Cricket's fight against fixing
29 Aug 10 |  Cricket

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