Strauss rejects Butt claims
England captain Andrew Strauss expressed his 'surprise, dismay and outrage' at accusations made by PCB chairman Ijaz Butt.
Last Updated: 20/09/10 7:25pm
The ECB say the current ODI series with Pakistan will go ahead, but England captain Andrew Strauss expressed his 'surprise, dismay and outrage' at accusations made by PCB chairman Ijaz Butt.
As the betting scandal in cricket continues to rumble on, Butt said that England players should be investigated after claiming they were also involved in betting irregularities.
The ECB have reacted angrily to Butt's accusations, which they have called 'wholly irresponsible and completely without foundation' and have also promised to take legal action against Butt.
"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," read the statement.
England skipper Strauss admitted to having misgivings about continuing to play Pakistan, and he also reacted angrily to Butt's comments as the ECB released a statement on behalf of the team.
"The England Cricket team has this morning issued a statement in conjunction with the Professional Cricketers Association (PCA), following allegations made yesterday by the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board," read the statement.
"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."
Strauss, speaking on behalf of the team, 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.
"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.
"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."
Angus Porter, chief executive of the PCA, added: "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 cooperate 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."