Pakistan to defy calls to ban ‘spot-fix’ stars

PAKISTAN are to defy calls from England to suspend the three players implicated in the ‘spot-fixing’ allegations.

Professional Cricketers’ Association boss Angus Porter told yesterday how the England players thought it would be “preferable” that those involved would not play in the two forthcoming Twenty20 matches and the five-match one-day series.

Test captain Salman Butt, seamers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif have all been implicated in the allegations by the News of the World. Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal is no longer under investigation.

But now all three have co-operated with police and and given statements, the tourists insist it’s business as usual as they prepared for their tour match against Somerset tomorrow with a closed training session in Taunton yesterday.

“Chairman Ijaz Butt told me that since there is a case going on with the Scotland Yard we are not going to suspend any player,” said Pakistan Cricket Board spokesman Nadeem Sarwar.

“He further said that this is only an allegation so far. There is still no charge of proof on that account. So at this stage, there will be no action taken.”

Porter, however, says England players don’t believe the four players in question should play in the coming Twenty20 series in Cardiff, starting with the opener on Sunday.

“Speaking on behalf of the England team we can say we think it would be preferable if those individuals who are named do not play in the forthcoming series,” he said.

Calls for the rest of the tour to be scrapped have been dismissed by the International Cricket Council (ICC), and England’s Stuart Broad, who scored a career-best 169 in that ill-fated fourth Test at Lord’s, agrees it should go ahead as planned.

“We shouldn’t call it off on the back of an investigation that is ongoing,” he said. “It is up to others to decide if any of the Pakistan players involved in those allegations should miss those games.”