Strauss: ICC must act firmly

2010-09-23 07:58

England - England captain Andrew Strauss called on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to leave "no stone unturned" in their probe into cricket corruption after his side ended a scandal-marred season with a one-day series win over Pakistan on Wednesday.

"This summer has clearly demonstrated when there is a sniff of something in the air it devalues the whole game and nobody wants to play cricket in those circumstances," Strauss told a news conference after the end of a tour mired in "fixing" allegations.

England thrashed Pakistan by 121 runs in the fifth and final one-dayer at the Rose Bowl for a 3-2 series win after Pakistan had fought back to 2-2 from 2-0 down.

Eoin Morgan, Strauss's Middlesex team-mate, was named man-of-the-match for his unbeaten 107 in a total of 256 for six.

Pakistan, only briefly in the hunt, were dismissed for 135 with exactly 13 overs to spare as Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann took three wickets apiece.

But those statistics remained overshadowed by the newspaper claims that led to Pakistan's Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif being suspended by the ICC and questioned by British police over an alleged plot to bowl deliberate no-balls during last month's Test at Lord's.

England then found themselves in the firing line when Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairperson Ijaz Butt accused them of losing last week's third one-day international at The Oval on purpose.

"The ICC must leave no stone unturned," Strauss said. "We are keen to move on from this series and very keen not to have a repeat of this at any time in the future, which is why it's so important the ICC take a very strong lead from now on and don't take a breather now this series finished."

England were struggling at 47 for three until former Ireland left-hander Morgan revived the innings with an excellently paced hundred that saw him go to three figures in the last over with a six and a four off successive deliveries from off-spinner Saeed Ajmal.

"Having been 2-0 up in the series, and cosy about things, it's a bit of a shock to the system to suddenly be 2-2 - especially given what went on over the last week," man-of-the-series Strauss said.

"We had to get a competitive total - and for a while there, it looked like we were going to struggle to do that.

"But Morgs' innings was an outstanding one and put us in a good position to finish them off."

Disappointed Pakistan one-day captain Shahid Afridi said: "I was thinking about a happy ending but it hasn't happened.

"There were some controversies on this tour but my team was very united and I think this will give us some good results in the future."

Pakistan originally arrived in England to play neutral series against Australia as their homeland has become a no-go area for international cricket since last year's armed attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore.

Afridi said he would love to play in England again although Butt's recent comments and the general 'fixing' controversy appear to have ended any hopes of a quick return visit.

"We are ready to play anywhere. I would love to come back here, England is like a second home to me," Afridi said.

This series was England's last before they begin the defence of the Ashes in Australia in November.

They will go into that contest on the back of six straight home series wins against Bangladesh (Test and one-dayers), Australia (one-day internationals) and Pakistan (Tests, Twenty20 and one-dayers).

England haven't won a Test series in Australia since 1986/87 but Strauss said: "The feeling is we are in a very good place. We've won six series out of six this summer, I don't know when the last time England did that was.

"Ultimately, going to Australia is a big challenge and we are going to have to start from square one all over again," added Strauss ahead of Thursday's Ashes squad announcement.

"It's one of the biggest (northern) winters any of us can possibly dream of and it's very hard not to be excited by that."


  • Richard - 2010-09-23 08:26

    like the no ball called in the 4 ODI by the umpire against Pakistan while England where batting.Dont point fingers at others until you are certain that your own house is clean,just like nobody could believe the reports about Hansie when they surfaced just prior to the Aus tour,and everybody thought it was just the Aus media having a go at SA

  • Questionable - 2010-09-23 08:58

    Agree! However, is one Mr Alec Stewart also going to be investigated? I remember when the Cronje fiasco broke, Alec Stewart never again set a foot on Sub-Continent soil. Somehow I don't believe England have been as squeaky clean as they would like us to believe over the decades that the game has been played. As the saying goes... "there's no smoke without fire!"

  • Tommy1 - 2010-09-23 10:25

    ALL or MOST cricket matches are fixed.The ICC are part of this and they inturn get upset when they and there prefered bookies are not involved at what takes place on the ground.You want to prove me wrong then launch a full investigation on all proffesional cricketers and you will be suprised at what one will find.There are millions of dollars that are exchanged on a single game.The problem is when more unknown organised crime orgarnisation are getting to players and the icc are unaware of it you have players being caught out not to mention the pie being made smaller. This is not a conspiracy theory but the simple truth.To fix a game one only needs to get to 1 /2 key batsmen and 1 /2 bowlers and thats it.Here is my suggestion why dont the icc be investigated independantly.The game of cricket was started and run in conjuction with bookies from day one.There are new crime organizations infiltrating the cricket world because of money that can be made and at the moment the cricketing leaders do not want to share. FOOD FOR THOUGHT. Did not mean to upset beloved cricket lovers but if you analize the game it really does look like a staged event.A few yeras ago cricket games for one day internationals were becomming empty let alone test matches.This was of grave concern to the cricketing world and all of a sudden the 20/20 format is introduced, and in INDIA it is taken a stepp further by Mr MODI with the introduction of the IPL.All of a sudden there is a big intrest from the public and people want to watch the 20/20 version more but one problem the ICC was not getting a cut of the pie from the IPL.Afew years on MODI the driver behind the most sucessful cricketing event is sidelined and it is now taken over by the INDIAN goverment and i will bet a kruger rand that the icc is eating a part of the pie now.The IPL was becomming or was bigger than the cricketing World Cup. People wake up and smell the roses and to those that think cricketers should be role models for kids arround the world, I say think again.

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