Cricket

Trott: We have no grudges

2010-09-11 16:36
Jonathan Trott (File)

England - England batsman Jonathan Trott insisted on Saturday his side bore "no grudges" against Pakistan despite the "spot-fixing" row engulfing the tourists and his own very public bust-up with Kamran Akmal.

Trott made 69 as England beat Pakistan by 24 runs to win the first one-day international at Chester-le-Street on Friday but in the same match exchanged angry words with Pakistan wicketkeeper/batsman Kamran Akmal.

His innings came on the same day as three Pakistan players - Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif returned home after being suspended by the International Cricket Council following allegations they all conspired to deliberately bowl no-balls in last month's fourth Test at Lord's.

Even before the trio were suspended, England had made it clear they would be unhappy to play against them in this month's five-match one-day series.

The three banned players have all been interviewed by British police and seamer Wahab Riaz, still in the one-day squad, also faces similar questioning.

Meanwhile the allegations have also re-ignited the controversy surrounding the Sydney Test in January where Kamran Akmal dropped several catches and missed a run-out as Australia came from behind to complete an extraordinary victory over Pakistan.

At Chester-le-Street the umpires had to intervene to cool tempers but Trott was adamant his spat with Kamran Akmal was not part of a deliberate attempt to 'wind-up' Pakistan.

"It was just a few things that go on the field," Trott, speaking to reporters at England's hotel on Saturday, explained.

"I said a few words, and he was saying a few - and the umpires got in the middle of it, and made a mountain out of a molehill really," he added ahead of the second one-day international at Headingley here on Sunday.

Pressed on whether England were trying to "get under Pakistan's skin", Trott replied: "Not at all, nothing like that.

"We don't have any grudges, or anything. We just play cricket...I didn't say anything that extraordinary."

Publicly, England, although concerned by the allegations, have repeatedly said they are happy to play against whomsoever Pakistan now select.

"It's something the players feel strongly about, but we can't do anything more than play the game against 11 people put out in front of us," Trott said.

"All we can do, as a team and individuals, is get on with the job.

Trott has been playing in a one-day side without fellow South Africa-born batsman Kevin Pietersen, who has returned to county action in search of runs ahead of England's defence of the Ashes in Australia later this year.

The 29-year-old Trott revealed he'd sent his erstwhile team-mate a congratulatory text message after Pietersen made a one-day hundred for Surrey against Sussex.

"When he got his hundred the other day, everyone was chuffed. I sent him a text, and said 'well done - that's very good'.

"I don't see it as rivals; I don't see Kevin or anyone else as a rival; I see them as a team-mate.

"He's a great player - and I'm very, very sure he'll bounce back and have a huge role in the England cricket side in the future."

By contrast, Trott is having a "huge" role in the side right now.

Since making a hundred on Test debut against Australia at The Oval just over a year ago, the 29-year-old Warwickshire batsman averages 55 in the five-day game and more than 70 in one-day internationals.

"It's been a pretty successful year -- long may it continue," Trott said.

As for his exploits, including an innings of 184 at Lord's during the now infamous fourth Test, being 'overshadowed' by the scandal enveloping Pakistan, Trott added: "I don't really play cricket for the limelight. That's not the be-all and end-all."

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