Strauss 'outraged' at Butt allegations

England will take on Pakistan at Lord's today, despite the "outrage" felt by Andrew Strauss' team over Ijaz Butt's claims that they deliberately lost at the Brit Oval.

Strauss was quoted in a strongly-worded England and Wales Cricket Board statement today, in which it emerged the deterioration of relations between the two teams in the ongoing NatWest Series has escalated to ministerial level.



Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson and Professional Cricketers' Association chairman Angus Porter have also issued personal statements following Butt's remarks yesterday.



The Pakistan Cricket Board chairman claimed he was aware of bookmaker information that England's cricketers had "taken enormous amounts of money" to fix Friday's match, which the tourists won by 23 runs to make the series score 2-1.



Strauss said: "We would like to express our surprise, dismay and outrage at the comments made by Mr Butt yesterday.



"We are deeply concerned and disappointed that our integrity as cricketers has been brought into question.



"We refute these allegations completely and will be working closely with the ECB to explore all legal options open to us."



Strauss added that he and his team have clearly had mixed feelings over the past few hours over whether to take the field today - but have decided they have a responsibility to do so.



"Under the circumstances, we have strong misgivings about continuing to play the last two games of the current series and urge the Pakistani team and management to distance themselves from Mr Butt's allegations," he said.



"We do, however, recognise our responsibilities to the game of cricket - and in particular to the cricket-loving public in this country - and will therefore endeavour to fulfil these fixtures to the best of our ability."

The ECB statement makes no secret of the board's dismay at Butt's remarks, which follow an International Cricket Council revelation on Saturday that the world governing body were to investigate "a certain scoring pattern" - broadly perceived to implicate Pakistan but not England - after a tip-off from The Sun newspaper.

That bombshell came after three weeks of crisis which began when Pakistan's Test captain Salman Butt and seamers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer were alleged to have taken part in a plot to defraud illegal bookmakers by bowling no-balls to order at Lord's.



Those three were subsequently charged and suspended under the ICC's anti-corruption code.



The ECB said today: "This decision was unanimously taken by the ECB board following a meeting between the ECB chairman Giles Clarke, CEO David Collier, ECB managing director - England Cricket, Hugh Morris, and the England captain and coach, Andrew Strauss and Andrew Flower and a subsequent meeting with all of the England team.



"The ECB and the England players completely reject the remarks made by the PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt yesterday about the England team's conduct in the third Nat West ODI at the Brit Insurance Oval.



"Mr Butt's comments were wholly irresponsible and completely without foundation.



"The ECB expresses its gratitude for the outstanding conduct of the England team this summer and will take all legal and disciplinary action which may result from Mr Butt's comments.



"The board and the team, however, are of a view that it remains in the best interests of world cricket, the players and in particular of cricket supporters that the tour should continue - and it would set a dangerous precedent to call off a tour based on the misguided and inaccurate remarks made by one individual.



"ECB will continue to offer ICC its full support in taking the strongest possible action against all areas of corruption and is pledged to offering the ACSU [anti-corruption unit] its full support at all times.



"Given the current sensitivities surrounding this issue, ECB believes it is imperative that any serious allegations made against another team or player should be presented through the proper channels to the ACSU.



"Both ECB and Team England view the comments made by Mr Butt as defamatory and not based in fact.



Robertson gave Government backing to England's pledge to continue with the two remaining matches in the series.



"I welcome the decision by England to play the last two games of this tour," he said.



"It is a pragmatic decision that is in the best interests of world cricket."



Today's press release also contained a statement from the England team, in conjunction with the PCA.



It reads: "The team deplores and rejects unreservedly the suggestion that any England cricketer was involved in manipulating the outcome, or any individual element, of the third NatWest Series ODI at the Brit Insurance Oval between England and Pakistan last week.



"The players fully understand their responsibilities as representatives of their country, and would not countenance giving less than 100% in any match they play.



Porter added, on behalf of the PCA: "The players appreciate the difficult position the ECB finds itself in, and is fully supportive of the actions taken by the board, along with the ICC, to ensure all allegations of wrong-doing are properly investigated and acted upon.



"We will continue to co-operate closely with the ECB, with the aim of ensuring that the work to root out corruption is not derailed by mischievous attempts to detract attention from the real issues."



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

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers