England's Andrew Strauss calls on ICC to 'stand up and lead the game'

时间:2019-09-08 责任编辑:储荩腙 来源:银河网投官网 点击:24 次

Usually the England team get sick of talking about the Ashes. This year they cannot come round soon enough. After yet more dispiriting accusations that Pakistan players are indulging in spot-fixing were made at the weekend, the captain admitted his team "will be quite relieved when this series is over and done with, no doubt about it".

The feeling is mutual. The Pakistan coach Waqar Younis wearily said that "it has been a real long tour" and that his team "are looking forward to going home".

And that was all before the Pakistan Board chairman, Ijaz Butt, threw fuel on the fire with his startling outburst that "there is loud and clear talk in the bookies circle that some English players were paid enormous amounts of money to lose [Friday's] match [at The Oval]".

The is investigating the third one-day international because scoring rates during certain parts of Pakistan's innings corresponded with predictions made in a tip-off it had received before the match.

In the absence of any conclusive information, Strauss was gracious enough to extend the opposition the full benefit of the doubt, which was more than Butt was willing to do, despite the ICC denying that any England players were under suspicion.

The England captain preferred instead to focus on calling for the ICC to "stand up and lead the game".

He added: "If this is not dealt with strictly now, it never will be. This has brought it very firmly to everyone's attention that this is an issue. We have still got to find out whether there is guilt or not, but the ICC have got a responsibility to the game of cricket to make sure that when there are 22 players turning out to play a game of cricket, everyone is striving equally hard to win.

"We need to get into a situation where we are 100% sure every team that is playing international cricket is clean. How we go about that? Well that's the sixty million dollar question."

He was obviously wearied by the ongoing controversy and irritated by the way in which it was "casting a shadow" over his team's performances. "It is going to be hard to root out if there are people doing it. It's going to be a long-winded and painful affair if people are going to take it seriously."

Strauss thinks the pain is necessary if the sport is going to improve its reputation. "The last thing I'd want to happen is for it to be swept under the carpet and for people to think, 'OK we've got through this, let the game continue,' because we will have to deal with it again at some stage and each time these things come out it just chips away at the greater game of cricket."

Strauss just wants to win this one-day series, which they currently lead 2-1, and move on. "Everyone thinks we've just got to get on with the game – unless the ICC comes up with information that they believe this is definitely happening, in which case that adds a different dimension to it."

The captain has also been talking to the England and Wales Cricket Board's managing director, Hugh Morris, about the latest allegations, but he says his team are united in their "business-like" approach. "We just spoke about the details of the situation and I think we all agree we need to find out more about the information the ICC have got," he said. "We haven't got many details on that at this stage. And given that we haven't got those details, we have just got to keep playing."

Strauss said that his heart sank when he heard the allegations on Saturday morning. "The last thing the game needs right now is to be dragged through the mill even further. It would astonish me if something like this was going on given the circumstances in which this one-day series is being played but if it is, then that's a pretty strong indictment of how prevalent this type of thing is in the game. But we just don't know how credible the information is and it is wrong for me to speculate on whether there is any credibility to it at all. Unless the ICC comes out and says they are very credible we've just got to strive to win the series, and that's all we can do."

Relations between the two teams have reached a nadir, he added. "For us it has been more about not interacting too much with the Pakistan team and just concentrating on what we need to concentrate on."

Younis despaired at the allegations. "I read the paper and threw it in the bin," he said. "OK, it's another one."

Like Strauss, he clearly felt limited by the lack of clear information from the ICC. "I don't think anyone really knows what is going on," he said. "Nobody has told anyone. They have probably spoken to the [Pakistan] cricket board but we haven't been told anything."

The ICC has only confirmed that the information it received was correct "broadly speaking", that it is "launching a full inquiry" but is not "stating as fact that anything untoward has happened".