Scoring pattern under scrutiny following Pakistan's 23-run victory over England
DUBAI - The International Cricket Council (ICC) has launched an investigation into Friday's one-day international between England and Pakistan, the sport's governing body said on Saturday.
The decision was taken after the ICC received information from a British newspaper on a scoring pattern during the match, which Pakistan won by 23 runs, ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement. "A source informed The Sun newspaper that a certain scoring pattern would emerge during certain stages of the match and, broadly speaking, that information appeared to be correct," Lorgat said.
"We therefore feel it is incumbent upon us to launch a full enquiry into this particular game although it is worth pointing out at this stage that we are not stating as fact that anything untoward has occurred."
A report in the newspaper said illegal bookmakers knew the scoring pattern in Pakistan's innings before the start of Friday's match at the Oval in London.
"The ICC maintains a zero-tolerance approach to corruption," said Lorgat. "Any player or official found guilty of an offence will face the full rigor of our robust Anti-Corruption Code so that we can ensure the integrity of the sport is maintained."
Three Pakistani cricketers - Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir - have already been provisionally suspended by the ICC following the spot-fixing scandal during a Test match in England last month.
A fourth player, Wahab Riaz, was quizzed by British police.
Pakistan sports minister Aijaz Jakhrani said the government would not take action unless there is clear evidence against a player.
"The ICC has the power and an anti-corruption unit and it should go ahead and use that," Jakhrani told Indian news channel CNN-IBN. "If they get any proof then we will definitely look into it."
He added if the government had cracked down on corruption in the past the recent scandals would not have happened.
"If we had made some harsh decisions in the past it would not have happened. If we had taken some harsh decisions young players would not dare to do something wrong," he said.
"This is the time when we have to take some tough decisions. This time we will not spare anybody."
Jakhrani was also unhappy with the role of team management and felt it was not strict enough.
"This is the thing management has to do. Access to players should not be easy and mobile phones should not be available to the players when they are playing."