Cricketers Not Guilty Until Proven: PCB Chief

By Awais Saleem

Islamabad, Sep 9 (IANS): Despite questioning them for over nine hours, the Scotland Yard could not press any charges against three Pakistani cricketers accused of spot-fixing and they cannot be held guilty "unless something is proved", Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ijaz Butt said Wednesday.

Three Pakistani cricketers - captain Salman Butt and pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer - are being investigated on charges of spot-fixing during the Lords Test match.

Wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt have also been served notices on the Asia Cup match against Sri Lanka.

"Nobody can be held guilty unless something is proved," Butt told the media after his return from London at Lahore's Quaid-i-Azam international airport, amidst booing by the general public gathered there.

Butt said the International Cricket Council (ICC) had replied to a letter by the PCB and "the board is not planning to sue anybody on the match-fixing scandal at this stage".

"The ICC has only suspended the three players temporarily and all of them will individually respond to these notices," he said.

He urged the fans to disregard all the rumours and wait for the investigation to complete.

"We cannot take any action against the players before anything is proved," he said, adding that there was no need for the PCB to initiate any parallel probe.

"The allegations have been leveled by a newspaper only," he said while referring to the sting operation by the News of the World.

"Such things are part of the game and there is no big deal about it," he said before being escorted to his vehicle by police, who were there to protect him from the wrath of angry slogan-chanting fans.



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