Pakistan's cricketers were being investigated by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for fixing in a one-day series even before their contentious fourth Test against England last month. The ICC suspended three players last week after charging them under its anti-corruption code but had already written to two players to ask for telephone records as part of an investigation into possible contact with bookmakers.
Yesterday's edition of Britain's Daily Mail newspaper reported that the ICC wrote to Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal, the wicketkeeper, last month asking them to provide telephone records. Butt is one of three players suspended last week by the ICC on suspicion of fixing by arranging for deliberate no-balls to be bowled against England during the fourth Test at Lord's. "There will be absolutely no comment," Yawar Saeed, the team manager, told The Associated Press when asked about the investigation. "I am not going to say anything on the allegations. They are there and we are here, getting on with our jobs on the tour."
A telephone call to Ijaz Butt, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, went unanswered. Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer were suspended last Thursday following a scandal that came to light nine days ago following an undercover sting operation by the News of the World newspaper. All three could face life bans, if found guilty. The suspensions relate only to the fourth Test against England, which began on August 26.
Australian players, meanwhile, have threatened to not sign contracts with Cricket Australia (CA) next year if the board deducts 10 per cent from their Indian Premier League (IPL) salaries. The IPL governing council, in a meeting on Sunday to discuss the rules and regulations for the fourth season of the league, had ruled that 10 per cent of players' salaries would go to their respective boards. Paul Marsh, the Australian Cricketers Association chief executive, told the Australian: "The Australian Cricketers Association has made it known to Cricket Australia that any attempt to take 10 per cent, or any other amount for that matter, from the IPL salaries of Australian players is completely unacceptable and will be opposed in the strongest possible way by us.
"CA simply has no right to effectively charge a commission on income earned by players from outside their employment to CA. Should they seek to do, so we would expect players to give serious consideration to either not signing an IPL contract that contains this deduction, or not signing future CA contracts." Cricket Australia, the governing body of the game in the country, presently deducts 2.5 per cent of players' IPL salaries.