|ECB considers legal action over Ijaz Butt comments|
Tuesday, 21 September 2010 09:59
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has threatened to take legal action against Ijaz Butt, president of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), after he alleged that England's players accepted a bribe to lose the third one-day international.
Butt said he had heard from bookmakers that England had been paid to lose last Friday's match. But the ECB has hit back, calling the comments "wholly irresponsible and completely without foundation".
An statement issued on behalf of the England team read: "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 per cent in any match they play."
England captain Andrew Strauss said: "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."
ECB chief David Collier added: "We are looking for an apology. If it does not come we'll look at other options. Clearly we will seek advice but there are quite strong laws of defamation. You can't impugn someone's integrity without having proper evidence."