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Page last updated at 16:28 GMT, Thursday, 23 September 2010 17:28 UK

England cricket team warn Ijaz Butt of legal action

Pakistan cricket chief Ijaz Butt
The England camp were angered by Ijaz Butt's comments

The England cricket team has demanded a "full and unreserved apology" from Ijaz Butt, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, over match-fixing allegations.

The letter warns "legal proceedings will be commenced without further notice" if no such apology is made.

Butt claimed he heard from bookmakers that England were paid to lose Friday's third one-day game at The Oval.

The PCB confirmed that it has received the letter and had instructed lawyers acting on their behalf to respond.

The letter, in which the PCB said "multiple demands have been raised", was signed off by the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Professional Cricketers' Association.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan had earlier urged current skipper Andrew Strauss to take legal action.


Vaughan told BBC Sport: "I'd be making a few phone calls to legal sources to try to take this a little bit further. I can't think of anything worse than your name mentioned in terms of fixing a game of cricket."

Butt's claims, for which he later admitted he had no proof, sparked outrage.

Strauss expressed disappointment that England's "integrity" had been questioned, and revealed "strong misgivings" about continuing the one-day series against Pakistan.

Vaughan, captain between 2003 and 2008, said: "I think Andrew Strauss and the team have dealt with it in a very good fashion. They've kept their dignity and they've not said much.

"I've never been involved with England team through that kind of allegation or finger-pointing.

"But I'd be taking it as far as I can because unless Ijaz Butt takes back the comments, I think this case will go on for a lot longer."

Vaughan calls for full investigation

Butt's ill-fated intervention came after the International Cricket Council announced an investigation into Pakistan's performance in the Oval contest after receiving reports about "scoring patterns" during their innings.

Pakistan set England 242 to win the game but the hosts lost their last five wickets for 17 runs.

On Sunday, Butt told India's NDTV channel: "There is loud and clear talk in bookie circles that some English players were paid enormous amounts of money to lose. No wonder there was total collapse of the English side."

However, speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, Butt later claimed he was only stating what he had heard and that he had no proof that England's players had thrown the game at The Oval.

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see also
Morgan seals England series win
22 Sep 10 |  England
Strauss demands strong ICC action
23 Sep 10 |  England
England demand apology from Butt
21 Sep 10 |  England
Pakistan level tainted ODI series
20 Sep 10 |  England
Strauss outraged by fixing claims
20 Sep 10 |  England
ODI series devalued, says Flower
18 Sep 10 |  England
ICC to probe third one-day match
18 Sep 10 |  Pakistan
Pakistan snatch win over England
17 Sep 10 |  Cricket
Spot-fixing scandal: the key figures
01 Sep 10 |  England
Pakistan in England 2010
07 Sep 10 |  Cricket

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