Pak players in betting probe dropped!

TAINTON: Under pressure from the ICC and England Cricket Board, Pakistan today dropped the tainted trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir from the Twenty20 and one-day series against England starting Sunday.

The three are implicated in a ‘spot-fixing’ scandal "exposed" in a British tabloid’s sting operation last week.

Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed said the players, who are in London to present their case to Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ijaz Butt and the High Commission officials, will not play the two Twenty20 and five one-day matches this month.

"We are 13 this morning and it will remain the same. We have asked for replacements for the three players who have gone. We will remain 13 for the first two Twenty20 matches," Saeed told reporters here.

The trio’s axing comes after intense pressure from the ICC and the host ECB, both of whom made it clear that the players had to be dropped for the series to go on.

England’s Professional Cricketers’ Association had also demanded their sacking, saying that the host players would find it very tough to carry on against the three, who allegedly took money from a bookie to bowl no balls during the Lord’s Test last week.

So far, the PCB had been adamant about not dropping the trio, insisting that the players had not yet been charged of by the Scotland Yard, which is investigating the scandal. (PTI)

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