Police seize players’ mobiles after match-fixing allegations

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
lord's cricket ground
(Photo: Sarflondondunc)

lord's cricket ground

Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed has revealed that three players, including captain Salman Butt, have had their mobile phones confiscated by police following allegations of spot-fixing during the fourth Test against England at Lord’s.

The News of the World says it gave £150,000 to 35-year-old agent Mazhar Majeed, who had promised to arrange for Pakistan to bowl “no balls” during the match.

Police visited the Pakistan team hotel on Saturday night ahead of the final day of the Lord’s Test, which England eventually won by an innings and 225 runs.

“Telephones yes, only these three gentlemen. The police have taken their mobile phones away,” Saeed said. “Allegations are only one thing. They are all serious, whether they are small or big.

“No allegations are true until they are proved either way, so at this point of time they are just allegations. Obviously we are not delighted about it; we are sad. It was very sober feelings in the dressing room,” he added.

“As far as the Scotland Yard investigations are concerned, I wouldn’t like to say anything more yet – because it is not right for us to do that.

“Scotland Yard officers came, interviewed, came to my room, went to his [Butt’s] room and two more. They were there for about two or three hours.

“After that, I asked them if there was anything we could do. They said ‘no’.”

Captain Butt was reluctant to comment on the allegations, preferring to wait until investigations are completed.

“These are just allegations,” said. “Anybody can stand up and say things about you – it doesn’t make them true.

“They include quite a few people. They are still ongoing, and we will see what happens. There is nothing I have seen, or been shown, that involves me.”

Former England captain Michael Vaughan wrote on Twitter: “Anger is my thought at the moment. I don’t see how they can get out of this one … It’s just a great shame why this has to happen. Very sad.”

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