Strauss 'astonished and then saddened'

Andrew Strauss has spoken of his "astonishment" on hearing the allegations of corruption levelled at Pakistan's cricketers and insisted that he has never had any match-rigging concerns about the England team.

Strauss left Lord's on Saturday wondering how quickly his bowlers might take six more wickets to wrap up the final Test of the summer. But cricket tactics were the last thing on his mind a couple of hours later as he watched the news on television.

"First absolutely astonished and then pretty saddened," the England captain said when asked yesterday of his reaction. "There was no prior warning or anything like that.

"Not for one minute did we suspect anything was happening in the Test match. And they are only allegations at this stage. But when you sit there watching the news you do not expect to see your match as the leading item."

Despite not ducking a single question, Strauss – quite understandably – was unable to comment too fully on the corruption claims. But he happily shared his thoughts when asked about the honesty of the England team.

"All I will say from our point of view is that every single game of cricket I've played for England I have been 100 per cent sure that we have done everything we can to win that game of cricket. I am very comfortable saying that, but I cannot speak for other teams."

And Strauss is equally willing to support the idea of life bans for any player who is found guilty of rigging. "With a lot of these match-fixing allegations it is so hard to prove one way or another," he said. "But if someone is found categorically guilty of doing it then the only way for me is for you not to be able to play international cricket again."

While police and cricket's anti-corruption unit continue their investigations into the News of the World report, a decision on whether or not to go ahead with the series of Twenty20 and 50-over internationals must be made soon.

The first game is scheduled in Cardiff on Sunday but Strauss believes a little time should be allowed to pass before conclusions are reached. "I honestly believe the best thing to do is let the dust settle on this," he said. "It's all new and raw and it's easy to get quite emotional about things at the moment.

"Clearly the ICC, the ECB and the Pakistan Cricket Board must sit down and decide the best way forward. There are going to be some very strong reasons for the series to go ahead but they are going to have to think about what the right thing is."

Strauss also hopes, given time, that his players – especially man of the match Stuart Broad and man of the series Jonathan Trott – will be able to remember Lord's for their record-breaking stand of 332 and not the story that followed it.

"That was without doubt the best partnership I have seen by two England players and they shouldn't forget that," the captain said. "And I don't think they should believe for one minute it wasn't completely authentic. I think once the dust settles the guys will still be proud we won the Test match and the series convincingly."

England's next Test match will be in Australia in November. "I'm not absolutely happy with where the team is," Strauss admitted when asked about the Ashes series. "But we had to come back from tough situations in most of these Tests and we showed a huge amount of fight. That is going to stand us in good stead."

Lord's timeline: How England wrapped it up

11.00 To some people's surprise play begins. It had been thought that the allegations made against Pakistan might preclude their starting. The supporters in the Long Room clap politely as the batsmen walk through.



11.11 Azhar Ali chooses the wrong line to one from Graeme Swann holding its own.



11.16 Kamran Akmal, one of those mentioned, dabs Jimmy Anderson behind and is replaced by Mohammad Aamer, one of the bowlers alleged to be directly involved in bowling deliberate no-balls. There is no booing from the crowd, but muted applause.



11.21 Aamer, all at sea, is easily duped by Swann and bowled. Pakistan are 65 for 7.

11.26 Wahab Riaz is wicket number eight, hitting carelessly to midwicket.



11.59 Pakistan are one wicket from defeat as Saeed Ajmal takes a single ridiculous in the context of any game and is run out by Stuart Broad's direct hit.



12.08 Umar Akmal, batting with gay abandon, reaches 50 from 40 balls with his seventh four.



12.36 The match is at last put out of its misery when Mohammad Asif is caught at slip, a fact the requested review confirms. England have won by an innings and 225 runs and the series by 3-1 but they can barely raise a smile.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A still from a scene cut from The Interview showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's death.
tech
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
News
newsAstonishing moment a kangaroo takes down a drone
Life and Style
Duchess of Cambridge standswith officials outside of the former wartime spy centre in Bletchley Park
tech
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'