Pakistan 'won't ban players'
Pakistan have said they will not suspend any of their players while investigations into 'spot-fixing' allegations continue.
Last Updated: 31/08/10 3:40pm
Pakistan will not suspend any of their players while investigations into 'spot-fixing' allegations during the fourth Test continue.
Sunday's edition of The News of the World alleged that some members of the Pakistan team had been paid to deliberately bowl no-balls.
Test skipper Salman Butt, seamers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal gave statements to police following the revelations in the newspaper.
The Pakistan squad travelled from London to Taunton on Monday ahead of their tour match against English county Somerset on Thursday.
After their arrival, team manager Yawar Saeed told Sky News there were "no changes" to their tour plans. The squad, including those under investigation, are due to practice behind closed doors on Tuesday afternoon.
"Chairman Ijaz Butt told me that since there is a case going on with the Scotland Yard we are not going to suspend any player," Pakistan Cricket Board spokesman Nadeem Sarwar told AFP.
"He further said that this is only an allegation so far. There is still no charge of proof on that account. So at this stage, there will be no action taken."
Sarwar refused to comment on reported demands by the International Cricket Council to suspend those players under investigation by Thursday.
According to Sky News sources, the ICC has held a conference call to discuss whether individuals should be banned from the tour's remaining matches. They are due to play two Twenty20 fixtures and a five-match NatWest Series against England.
As well as a Scotland Yard investigation, senior detectives from Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency are due to arrive in the UK to carry out their own inquiry into the scandal.
The Guardian says three officers will not only review evidence from the News of the World sting, but will look at the ICC's own investigation into alleged Pakistani corruption. It is claimed they have been looking into behaviour around Pakistan international matches for months.
Meanwhile, former Pakistan captain and coach Javed Miandad believes it would be best if the entire team was replaced for the rest of the tour.
Miandad, the director general of the Pakistan Cricket Board, also wants the team management to return home and has offered to accompany the new squad of players on the trip.
"It will be tough for the players to handle this pressure as they will not be in the right frame of mind," Miandad said.
"It's better that they should be replaced with new players, and I think we have enough talented players in reserve.
"I am more than willing to accompany the new team and coach them in the Twenty20 and one-day internationals."
If match-fixing allegations are proven against any players, Miandad wants harsh sanctions to be imposed, adding: "If anyone is found guilty, he should not be spared and punished strictly."