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August 30, 2010
News : ICC's anti-corruption code leaves scope for leniency
News : Mazhar and players on ACSU lists
News : Nervous Butt faces the media
News : Pakistan insist one-day series goes ahead
News : Police investigation will focus on currency notes
Series/Tournaments: Pakistan tour of England
Mazhar Majeed, the man at the centre of the spot-fixing scandal, has been released on bail without charge by Scotland Yard but will be questioned further at a later date. Majeed was caught on camera by News of the World claiming to have bribed Pakistan bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif to bowl no-balls at previously agreed moments during the Lord's Test. He was arrested on Saturday, following the expose that claimed he was paid £150,000 to arrange a fix with the Pakistan team, but was bailed on Sunday evening.
"He is obliged to return for further questioning at a specified date," a Scotland Yard spokesman told Cricinfo. However, he refused to confirm what date that would be.
Sharad Pawar, the ICC president, said the game's governing body would wait for the police report on the issue before deciding on a course of action.
"Until and unless the British authorities complete the investigation, which we hope will be done in two-three days, and establish there is prima facie case, it is difficult for the PCB to take appropriate action," Pawar said after a teleconference with ICC officials, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt and ECB chairman Giles Clarke. "ICC is waiting for the British police to complete investigation. ACSU is also looking into the details. It is also preparing a report in two to three days. The report by British Police and ACSU will give us a proper picture."
Pawar said it was the desire of the ICC, PCB and ECB that Pakistan's tour of England should continue. "We discussed in depth the Pakistani players' issue. One thing is that the British Police have not completed their investigation," he added. "Neither any player has been arrested. As per our information, PCB president is preparing a confidential report which will be submitted to the president and prime minster. He wants guidance from the country's leadership."
Many boards have already reacted, some of them airing concerns over the fate of planned series against Pakistan. New Zealand Cricket appealed for a swift resolution to the issue to avoid any fallout on Pakistan's year-end tour of the country . "Justice needs to be done, but also swiftly to stop this dragging on," New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan told TV3 News. "It's very important that we have their best team and that we prepare as well as possible for the World Cup which immediately follows the tour."
Pakistan will play three Twenty20 matches, two Tests and six one-day internationals against New Zealand between December 26 and early February. Before that, Pakistan are set to host South Africa in the UAE for two Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20, but Cricket South Africa has said the series will go ahead as planned.
"The tour of Pakistan is part of the ICC Future Tours' program, which we have to honour, unless instructed otherwise by the ICC," Gerald Majola, CSA's CEO, said. "As such, the tour will go ahead as planned."
The BCCI said the matter was for the PCB and ICC to handle. "The BCCI has got nothing to do with it," its media and finance committee chairman Rajiv Shukla said. "Even if some Indian bookies are involved, the Indian police will look into the matter."
Yawar Saeed, the touring side's manager denied that the allegations proved that Pakistan cricket was institutionally corrupt. "I would not like to say that. Yes, one has heard and one has read [the allegations], but I would not like to go that far," said Saeed, insisting that the tour itinerary would continue as planned.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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