Lord's clash to go ahead

Today's fourth NatWest Series match at Lord's is set to go ahead as scheduled, the England and Wales Cricket Board have confirmed this morning.

The cricket world was still awaiting an official ECB statement, containing their reaction to Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt's astonishing counter-claims - during the ongoing spot-fixing crisis - that English players were paid "enormous amounts of money" to lose Friday's one-day international at the Oval.



But an ECB spokesman has told The Guardian that the home board are "planning as though the game [between England and Pakistan] will take place" and that is "unlikely to change".

Butt insisted earlier today that his side are happy for the series, currently standing at 2-1 to England after Pakistan's 23-run win three days ago, to continue.

Yesterday, the PCB chairman claimed in an interview with NDTV that there was talk in the bookmaking fraternity that some England players had "taken enormous amounts of money" to fix Friday's match.



He also said then: "We have positive proofs (of the allegations) here before us." But today, he told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I have never said this.



"If you listen to the full tape of the NDTV interview, the bookies are saying this. I am not saying this."



Asked about overnight fears the remaining matches - at Lord's and the Rose Bowl on Wednesday - could be scrapped by the ECB, Butt added: "If they [the ECB] want to scrap it they can scrap it. We will go ahead with it."



Butt was quoted in the interview with NDTV as saying: "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]. No wonder there was such a collapse."



When asked in the same interview whether the PCB had any proof of the allegations regarding English players, Butt responded with a question: "Did you ask the other people who made allegations against our players whether they had any proof? What did they say? We have thought about this properly and we have positive proofs here before us just like they say they have also."



Butt was keen to focus instead on the situation of Pakistan's suspended trio Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer - who have been charged under the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption code following allegations that no-balls were deliberately bowled to defraud illegal bookmakers during the fourth Test at Lord's.



"This is not a conspiracy to defraud the bookies. Our boys were suspended by the ICC, and they had no business to suspend them without any proof," he said.



"We feel that this a conspiracy to defraud and defame Pakistan cricket."



In another indication that the match was set to be played, England arrived at Lord's in very good time for today's encounter, shortly after 10.30 this morning and took part in some warm-up exercises in the nets.

As of 11.10 the Pakistan team had not arrived but there was no suggestion that they were not planning to turn up.



Pakistan also arrived by 11.15am, and there was every indication both teams were preparing to play - with or without any statement from the ECB before the scheduled start time of 1pm.

Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor