Sue Butt over fix claims, says Vaughan

FORMER England captain Michael Vaughan has urged current incumbent Andrew Strauss to sue Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt over his fixing allegations.

Butt provoked fury among the England dressing room earlier this week when he suggested some of Strauss’s players had accepted “enormous amounts of money” to throw last Friday’s third one-day international. The PCB boss later backtracked by insisting he was merely repeating gossip circulating among bookmakers, but that was not enough to prevent Strauss declaring his “outrage” at the allegations.

England chiefs have already demanded Butt retract the claims and hinted at possible legal action, an avenue that Vaughan admits he would be exploring if implicated by such a slur.

“I’d be making a few phone calls to legal sources to try to take this a little bit further,” he said yesterday. “I can’t think of anything worse than your name mentioned in terms of fixing a game of cricket.

“I think Andrew Strauss and the team have dealt with it in a very good fashion. They’ve kept their dignity and they’ve not said much. I’ve never been involved with the England team through that kind of allegation or finger pointing. But I’d be taking it as far as I can because unless Ijaz Butt takes back the comments, I think this case will go on for a lot longer.”

Butt’s incendiary remarks came on Monday after the International Cricket Council launched a probe into allegedly suspicious Pakistani scoring patterns in Friday’s match at The Oval, which the tourists won. He hit back: “There is loud and clear talk in bookie circles that some English players were paid enormous amounts of money to lose. No wonder there was total collapse of the English side.”

Pakistan’s tour has already been hugely overshadowed by claims some players were involved in spot-fixing during last month’s Lord’s Test.

Police are investigating and the ICC charged Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif.