Butt retracts England fixing claims, but doesn’t say sorry

PAKISTAN Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt last night officially retracted his allegation that England players accepted “enormous amounts of money” to throw a match.

Butt spent yesterday in talks with the England and Wales Cricket Board, which had threatened to launch legal action against him unless he made a “full and unreserved apology”.

That apology was not forthcoming, however Butt did emphasise his regret at the claims, which he made in reference to the third one-day international on 17 September.

“I wish personally and on behalf of the Pakistan Cricket Board to withdraw the comments I made concerning the England and Wales Cricket Board and each of the England players who played in the NatWest one-day international at the Brit Insurance Oval on Friday 17 September,” said Butt in a statement.

“It is regrettable that there was a misunderstanding arising from my comments. I would like to make it quite clear that in the statements which I made I never intended to question the behaviour and integrity of the England players nor the ECB nor to suggest that any of them were involved in any corrupt practices or in a conspiracy against Pakistan cricket. In particular, I wish to make it clear that I have never seen any evidence of any wrongdoing by any England player or the ECB at any time.”

England chiefs said they “warmly welcomed” the move and now considered the matter closed.

Butt’s original comments came amid allegations that some Pakistan players had been guilty of spot-fixing on their recent tour to England.