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Page last updated at 07:02 GMT, Saturday, 18 September 2010 08:02 UK

ICC probes Pakistan's victory over England at The Oval

The Oval
England lead the five-match one-day series 2-1

The International Cricket Council has launched an investigation into Friday's third one-day international between England and Pakistan at The Oval.

The game's world governing body says the probe is based on information passed on by The Sun newspaper.

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat says the match, won by Pakistan by 23 runs, featured "a certain scoring pattern" that warranted further investigation.

The ECB has been told that no England player is involved in the allegations.

"We feel it is incumbent upon us to launch a full enquiry," Lorgat said.

The investigation is the latest blight on Pakistan's summer tour, with four members of the team - none of whom were involved in Friday's match - being investigated amid allegations of "spot-fixing".

The ICC, with the integrity of cricket now at crisis point, has to be seen to be pro-active

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew

Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif have all been questioned by police over an alleged plot to deliberately bowl no-balls during last month's Test series.

A fourth player, bowler Wahab Riaz, was also interviewed by the authorities earlier in the week although all deny any wrongdoing.

In a statement, Lorgat added: "A source informed The Sun newspaper that a certain scoring pattern would emerge during certain stages of the match and, broadly speaking, that information appeared to be correct.

"It is worth pointing out at this stage that we are not stating as fact that anything untoward has occurred. Only in the fullness of the investigation can that be established.

"We thank The Sun newspaper for its information and co-operation in this regard and we will work with its staff and sources to ensure the full truth surrounding this match is ascertained.

"The ICC maintains a zero-tolerance approach to corruption in cricket and, as a matter of course, follows up on all credible information that is received, whatever the source.

"Any player or official found guilty of an offence will face the full rigour of our robust Anti-Corruption Code so that we can ensure the integrity of the sport is maintained."

On Friday, Scotland Yard detectives announced that an initial file detailing evidence of alleged corruption had been forwarded to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) who will decide whether to proceed with the case.

Butt, Amir and Asif, who have been suspended from playing and charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC), have indicated they will contest the allegations made against them. Riaz has not been suspended by the ICC.

In response to the latest investigation, Pakistan Cricket Board spokesman Nadeem Sarwar said: "The ICC has already issued its statement and we don't think it is appropriate for us to comment at this stage."

Orangputeh (U7256205)

But speaking from Karachi, the PCB's legal adviser Tafazzul Rizvi said: "At this stage we don't believe these latest allegations that our players did any fixing in the third one-day match against England,"

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew believes the ICC, with the integrity of cricket now at crisis point, must be seen to be pro-active.

"However, what it must caution itself against is investigating absolutely everything. It has to be careful not to be drawn into things which are absolutely impossible to prove," said Agnew.

"The ICC isn't saying anything else about what or might or might not have happened as far as this game is concerned, and it is incredibly hard to prove, but it is saying it did receive information in advance and it did turn out that it actually happened."

The England and Wales Cricket Board said it has asked the ICC for "assurances that ICC does not have evidence which could result in either charges or suspension of players" before the end of the series.

"The ECB Board noted the ICC is not stating as fact that anything untoward has occurred nor has yet been proven in relation to the third NatWest series ODI between England and Pakistan," it said in a statement.

It added that it has been assured that no England players or members of management are under suspicion while being confident the final two matches of the series would go ahead "at this stage".

England lead the one-day series against Pakistan 2-1 with further games to follow this week at Lord's on Monday and the Rose Bowl in Hampshire on Wednesday.

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see also
ODI series devalued, says Flower
18 Sep 10 |  England
Pakistan snatch win over England
17 Sep 10 |  Cricket
Prosecutors handed 'fixing' file
17 Sep 10 |  Pakistan
Pakistan trio to contest charges
14 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
Cricket's fight against fixing
29 Aug 10 |  Cricket

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