Pakistan in England 2010 October 13, 2010

ICC confirm Oval ODI was clean

ESPNcricinfo staff

The ICC has confirmed there is 'no compelling evidence' of wrongdoing in last month's one-dayer between England and Pakistan at The Oval. ESPNcricinfo understands, however, that though the ODI has been cleared, a number of useful leads have emerged from the investigation and it is believed that these may assist in other investigations the ACSU may be carrying out.

The match, which Pakistan won by 22 runs, had been the subject of speculation when the ICC announced "a full investigation is warranted" after it received information from The Sun newspaper before the game began alleging that bookies were aware of certain scoring patterns that occurred during the match.

"Following extensive investigations into allegations about the one-day international between England and Pakistan at The Oval in London on 17 September, the ACSU has verified all the available information and concluded that there was no compelling evidence to suspect individual players or support staff," the ICC statement read.

"The investigation is now complete but if new and corroborating evidence comes to light then clearly the ACSU will re-open the matter."

The allegations of spot-fixing drew angry reactions from the Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, who described them as "rubbish", and the PCB chairman Ijaz Butt, who suggested it was "a conspiracy to defraud Pakistan and Pakistan cricket". Butt went on to accuse England players of malpractice, allegations he later withdrew after the ECB demanded a full apology.

Though suggestions of conspiracy against Pakistan appeared farfetched the PCB can draw some relief from the ICC's confirmation that no evidence of malpractice in the game had been found.

The ICC was criticised for its handling of the issue at the time because nobody in the Pakistan board was informed by the ICC that an official investigation was being launched. Instead the PCB chairman, the Pakistan team manager and team captain had to learn of it through media reports.