Butt apologises for allegations about Oval game

Pakistan bowed to the inevitable last night and issued an abject apology to England's cricketers. Ijaz Butt, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, conceded that he had been entirely wrong to make the accusations of wrongdoing.

In a joint statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board and the PCB, Butt said: "I wish personally and on behalf of the PCB to withdraw the comments I made concerning the ECB and each of the England players who played in the one-day international at the Oval on Friday 17 September.

"It is regrettable there was a misunderstanding arising from my comments. I would like to make it quite clear that in statements which I made I never intended to question the behaviour and integrity of England players nor the ECB nor to suggest that any of them were involved in any corrupt practices or in a conspiracy against Pakistan cricket.

"I have never seen any evidence of any wrongdoing by any England player or the ECB at any time. I deeply and sincerely regret that my statements have been interpreted to cast doubt upon the good names of the England players and the ECB."