Cricket's 'spot-fixing' crisis took a new twist this afternoon when the Pakistan High Commissioner cast doubt on the authenticity of evidence presented by the News of the World.
High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan and Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt interviewed Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer in London this morning over claims they bowled no-balls to order in the Lord's Test as part of a plot to defraud illegal bookmakers.
It has also emerged that the three will take no part in the limited-overs leg of Pakistan's tour - set to start with a Twenty20 match against England in Cardiff on Sunday - officially at their own request, because of the stress of the past week.
However, Hasan has since questioned whether or not the News of the World's tapes of Croydon-based businessman Mazhar Majeed apparently correctly identifying the exact time when no-balls would occur should be taken at face value. In an interview on BBC television, Hasan said: "We are not seeing on the video what the date is or what the time is.
"Do you have answers to these questions? The video wasn't timed or dated. It could have been filmed before or after the match, or at a different time."
Asked if he believes the three players might have been "set up", he responded: "Yes, I would say that. Yes."
When contacted about Hasan's remarks, a News of the World spokesman said the newspaper will "refuse to respond to such ludicrous allegations".
His further advice was to "watch this space" - an intriguing hint perhaps that more allegations may be in the offing to be published this weekend.