Islamabad - The Pakistan Cricket Board is considering legal action against British tabloid The Sun after the International Cricket Council cleared its players of allegations of wrongdoing during a limited-overs international against England at The Oval.
PCB legal adviser Tafazzul Rizvi said on Tuesday that he was consulting lawyers in Britain regarding a possible defamation case on behalf of the players.
The Sun reported the story "in such a crude manner that we think they have a case to answer," Rizvi said.
The ICC investigated information passed on by The Sun, which suggested a scoring pattern in Pakistan's innings was prearranged during the September match, before clearing the players.
Rizvi said the PCB had considered legal action from day one.
"And now with ICC clearing the match, we are looking at the legal field and it is certainly under our serious consideration," he said.
Pakistan players were accused of spot fixing during the scandal-filled tour of England, where it also played a test series against Australia.
The ICC suspended three cricketers - Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir - after another British tabloid 'The News of the World' accused them of accepting money for bowling predetermined no-balls during the Lord's Test match against England.
All three appealed their suspensions, but Asif later withdrew his appeal. The ICC will hear appeals from Butt and Amir in Dubai on October 30-31.
Earlier this month, the ICC also gave the PCB a deadline of 30 days to shore up its ability to prevent match fixing or face further, unspecified action.
The PCB also agreed not to support or defend "tainted players." As a result, all the three suspended players have to defend their own cases.
The Pakistan team selected for the series against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates starting this week had to sign up to a strict code of conduct before leaving for the tour.
The series begins with a Twenty20 international later Tuesday at Abu Dhabi.