Pakistan's top detectives fly in to question team

Calls for side to be suspended – but England tour will go ahead as planned

Investigators from Pakistan's highest crime-fighting agency will arrive in London today to begin their own inquiry into allegations of a cricket betting scam amid growing calls for the country to be suspended to prevent further damage to the reputation of the international game.



The Pakistan cricket team yesterday left London for Somerset ahead of the series of one-day matches against England due to start this weekend as the political and sporting fallout continued from the sting by the News of the World (NOTW) against a sports agent who claimed to be able to provide information worth large sums to gambling syndicates.

A three-strong team from Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency will work alongside Scotland Yard detectives investigating claims by Mazhar Majeed, 35, a property developer and cricket agent, that he controlled seven Pakistani players and could rig the results of matches. In return for £150,000, undercover reporters were given precise details of three no-balls which were duly delivered by bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif in last week's Lord's Test against England.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) last night warned of "prompt and decisive" action against any players found guilty of wrongdoing, but stopped short of ordering the suspension of the Pakistan cricketers named in the NOTW inquiry – the captain, Salman Butt, vice-captain, Kamran Akmal, and the two bowlers – for the remainder of the country's matches in England.

The ICC's chief executive Haroon Lorgat said he was "very, very determined" to punish any players found to be corrupt. "We will do our utmost to ensure that before any players who are found to be guilty actually take to the field of play they are brought to book," he said.

A small crowd of cricket fans shouted "thieves" as the coach carrying the Pakistan team left its hotel yesterday and eggs were confiscated from a number of bystanders.

Calls for sterner action were led by Malcolm Speed, the Australian head of the ICC between 2001 and 2008, who said there was a "fairly compelling case" for the entire Pakistan team to be suspended immediately from the sport and there were concerns that corruption was "endemic" within the side.

Mr Speed said: "It looks as though it is endemic, that several of the team members are involved and have been for some time. So perhaps they need a rest."

Pressure for draconian measures against Pakistan was countered by Imran Khan, perhaps the country's most renowned player, who said it would be wrong to punish Pakistanis for the alleged wrongdoing of a handful of their compatriots. Despite the devastation caused by the floods, the alleged gambling scam has dominated the front pages of newspapers and television news bulletins since Sunday.

Mr Khan told ITV News: "Why should Pakistani cricket suffer if some players have indulged in a crime? Why should Pakistani supporters suffer because of that? The people who are found guilty should be removed from the team and replaced and should be punished as an example for future generations."

Scotland Yard yesterday denied claims it had given the green light for the players at the centre of the allegations to leave Britain as investigations continue into the actions of Mr Majeed, who was released on police bail on Sunday night following his arrest on suspicion of conspiring to defraud bookmakers.

Croydon Athletic, the non-league football team bought by the businessman in 2008 and which he boasted of using to "launder" the proceeds from a gambling syndicate based in India, said yesterday it was "devastated and appalled" by the allegations.

Detectives visited the hotel of the Pakistan team on Saturday night and took statements from Mr Butt, Mr Akmal, Mr Asif and Mr Aamer, along with the mobile phones of three of the men. None has been arrested. Mr Butt, who is not captain of the side for one-day matches, said: "I will say everyone in my team has given his 100 per cent."

It emerged yesterday that Mr Butt and Mr Akmal were already part of an investigation by the anti-corruption unit of the ICC, Acsu, which is led by Sir Ronnie Flanagan. The unit is looking into the conduct of the Pakistan side during a tour of Australia earlier this year, where it lost every match, including a Test match where the visiting team threw away a seemingly unassailable lead.

Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
Gavin Maxwell in Sandaig with one of his pet otters
peopleWas the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?
News
Rowsell says: 'Wearing wigs is a way of looking normal. I pick a style and colour and stick to it because I don't want to keep wearing different styles'
peopleThe World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?