Pakistan cricket Chief Ijaz Butt has launched an extraordinary attack on England’s players, saying they may have thrown a one-day international in return for “enormous” sums of cash.
Pakistan beat England in Friday’s one-dayer at the Oval by 23 runs after the home side, chasing 242 to win, lost their last five wickets for just 17 runs.
But the Pakistani tourists, already accused of spot-fixing in a previous Test match, are now under new investigation by the International Cricket Council (ICC) over a suspicious scoring pattern in the Oval game.
Interviewed on Indian television, Butt attempted to deflect suspicion back onto the England side.
“There is loud and clear talk in bookie circle that some English players were paid enormous amounts of money to lose the (Oval) match,” the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board told the NDTV news channel late Sunday.
“No wonder there was total collapse of the English side,” he said.
An England and Wales Cricket Board spokesman said the organisation was making no comment about Butt’s charges.
Butt, however, said there was a conspiracy to “defraud Pakistan and Pakistani cricket” and threatened to reveal names of those involved in the conspiracy.