Spot-fixing controversy September 28, 2010

Unapologetic Ijaz Butt arrives in London

Ijaz Butt, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, has refused to apologise for suggestions he made that England fixed a match in the recent one-day series. Speaking on his arrival at Heathrow Airport on Tuesday, he said he thought the matter would be settled in days.

Butt and the PCB's legal advisor are expected to hold meetings with the lawyers of the three players at the centre of the spot-fixing scandal. Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, is also headed to London, but ESPNcricinfo understands his is a pre-planned visit.

Butt and Taffazul Rizvi are expected to be in the UK for four to five days on a trip that was finalised only last week. The meetings with Elizabeth Robertson, the Addleshaw Goddard lawyer representing Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir in the spot-fixing case, were confirmed to ESPNcricinfo by a PCB official.

The board expects there to be some movement from the Crown Prosecution Service on the fate of the case against the trio within the next week or so. Scotland Yard passed on their file of evidence on claims that Pakistan cricketers were involved in spot-fixing to the CPS on September 17.

It is not known whether there will be meetings between Butt and the ECB while the PCB chairman is in London. The English board have demanded a full, public apology from Butt for claiming England players took "enormous amounts" of money to lose the third one-day international at The Oval earlier this month.

That claim came in the wake of another spot-fixing story, this time in The Sun, which had sparked an investigation by the ICC over scoring rates during the match at The Oval. Following Butt's outburst England came close to withdrawing from the fourth game at Lord's but late-night meetings between Andrew Strauss and the ECB ended with the decision to continue with the series.

However, both Strauss and the board came out with strongly-worded statements and have said they will pursue legal action if Butt doesn't apologise. "We would like to express our surprise, dismay and outrage at the comments made by Mr Butt," Strauss said at the time. "We are deeply concerned and disappointed that our integrity as cricketers has been brought into question. We refute these allegations completely and will be working closely with the ECB to explore all legal options open to us."

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

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