x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Ijaz Butt alleges conspiracy

Chairman pledges to reveal 'people, bodies and parties' behind spot-fixing allegations.

ISLAMABAD // Ijaz Butt, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, said yesterday that his country had been unfairly targeted and that he will name the people behind spot-fixing allegations against players. "We will shortly reveal the people, bodies and parties involved in this sinister conspiracy," Butt said in a telephone interview from Dubai. "We reserve the right to sue them for the damage."

Pakistan won the third one-day international against England by 23 runs on Friday before another spot-fixing controversy overshadowed a rare win during an increasingly controversial tour. The International Cricket Council (ICC) launched an investigation into tabloid allegations of spot-fixing for the match at The Oval, after The Sun suggested the scoring pattern in Pakistan's innings was pre-arranged.

The inquiry comes just three weeks after the ICC suspended three Pakistan cricketers for alleged spot-fixing in the fourth Test against England in August. The PCB has said it only knew the ICC was conducting an investigation into the third ODI through media reports. An ICC spokesman said the game's governing body had tried to contact Butt on Friday. Butt arrived in Dubai on Saturday and met with Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive. "As soon as we came to know that he [Butt] was in Dubai, our chief executive met him on Saturday evening and discussed matters of mutual interests," the ICC spokesman said yesterday.

Butt also claimed that the media in "certain countries are biased and not fair". "This is not a conspiracy to defraud the bookies, this is a conspiracy to defraud Pakistan and Pakistan cricket," he said. Earlier, Butt told Duniya television: "We won the match and we are under suspicion. England lost, their players should be investigated." Pakistan go into today's fourth one-day game at Lord's looking to level the five-match series against England.

The hosts have recalled Ian Bell, the middle-order batsman, to their squad for the remaining two one-day internationals. * Associated Press