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    Default England demand Pakistan cricket chief's apology

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    LONDON England players demanded a "full and unreserved apology" from Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt on Thursday and threatened legal action after he alleged they had deliberately lost last week's third one-day international at The Oval.
    "There is loud and clear talk in bookie circles that some English players have taken enormous amounts of money to lose the match (the third ODI)," Butt said. "No wonder there was such a collapse."
    The fourth and fifth matches of the series then went ahead despite fears England would pull out in protest at Butt's remarks.

    But the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Professional Cricketers Association (PCA), the players' union, released a statement Thursday saying: "The ECB and the PCA today confirmed that a pre-action letter has been sent on behalf of the England cricket team to Ijaz Butt, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, following his allegations that the England cricket team were involved in fixing the outcome of the third NatWest Series one-day international between England and Pakistan, played at The Brit Insurance Oval on September 17th 2010.
    "The letter seeks a full and unreserved apology.

    "Mr Butt has been advised that if a satisfactory response is not received, legal proceedings will be commenced against him without further notice."
    Butt's comments were just one twist in a tale of alleged cricket corruption that overshadowed an English season which ended with England beating Pakistan by 121 runs at the Rose Bowl to wrap up a 3-2 one-day series win on Wednesday.
    A report in Britain's News of the World tabloid led to Pakistan's Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif being suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and questioned by British police over an alleged plot to bowl deliberate no-balls during last month's Test at Lord's.

    Scotland Yard's investigations into the trio are still ongoing.
    A fourth player, Wahab Riaz, was interviewed before being unconditionally released by police.
    Riaz was also involved in an altercation with England batsman Jonathan Trott the fourth one-day international at Lord's on Monday.
    ...being a human...



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