England news July 30, 2013

ECB denies allegation of fixing suspicion

The ECB has acted to repair relations with the PCB following reports in a British newspaper suggesting the ECB had suspicions about a recent game between Pakistan and West Indies.

The PCB was concerned that comments attributed to an ECB official in the article suggested the third match of the ODI series between Pakistan and West Indies in St Lucia on July 19 - a game which ended in a tie - might have been subject of spot or even match-fixing.

The ECB has now formally assured the PCB that it has voiced no such suspicions. They told the PCB the comments were a "misrepresentation" and that it had not recommended to the ICC that the series should be investigated.

The Pakistan board, suitably placated, issued a statement saying: "The PCB has received assurance from the ECB, that the ECB has not passed any judgment on Pakistan Cricket and that the ECB has not suggested that there was anything to be concerned about during the Pakistan v West Indies series.

"PCB maintains a zero tolerance approach towards corruption but also feels it to be its obligation to protect Pakistan cricket from baseless allegations."

The statement was received in response to PCB's query on a statement attributed to an ECB official which appeared in a British newspaper regarding allegations of fixing in the recently concluded Pakistan v West Indies series. The ECB confirmed that the official has not stated that the series should be investigated and also approached the newspaper to seek a suitable clarification.

ESPNcricinfo understands that the ECB official involved advised that, if the newspaper had any information, it should be directed towards the ICC as the ECB had no jurisdiction in a game not involving England and not in the UK.

The story provoked anger in Pakistan with former captain, Rashid Latif, making a series of counter-allegations, all so far entirely unsubstantiated, and suggesting that he will sue the newspaper. "If the newspaper fails to provide evidence then the PCB must take them to court," Latif said. "And if they don't, I will."

Latif, one of the whisteblowers at the time of the Qayyum inquiry between 1998-2000 has used his Twitter account to raise doubts about the probity of England matches in the recent Champions Trophy and chastise the ECB for banning Danish Kaneria.

"Right from the onset the ECB did not have a strong case against Kaneria," Latif told AFP. "It seemed that it was just to show the world that their county cricket was clean from fixing."

Latif pinpointed Sri Lanka's victory over England at The Oval as a suspicious game but the ECB and ICC have denied any truth in the allegations and ESPNcricinfo understands that no ACSU investigation into it is planned.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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