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Pakistan team happy to released fixing claim

Pakistan's captain Shahid AfridiKARACHI: Pakistan’s one-day captain Shahid Afridi and coach Waqar Younis on Wednesday welcomed a decision to clear the team of some spot-fixing claims levelled against them in England last month.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday ruled there was no evidence of corruption in the third one-day international between Pakistan and England at the Oval played on September 17.

Afridi, who led Pakistan to victory by 23 runs in England but lost the five-match series 2-3, said he was delighted that the findings —announced after the ICC’s board meeting in Dubai —were in his team’s favour.

“I am very happy after hearing the news,” Afridi told AFP. “I had and will always have full confidence in my team that they will not do anything like that.

“I have told the players to always remain focused on cricket and forget anything else, and that’s what they were doing in the one-day series in England,” he added.

Afridi is to lead the team in the limited-over matches series starting in the United Arab Emirates later this month.

Coach Waqar Younis also hailed the decision. “It’s very good news for Pakistan cricket,” Younis told AFP.

“I sincerely hope that all spot-fixing cases are solved soon because they have tarnished Pakistan’s reputation.”

Pakistan Cricket Board legal adviser Taffzul Rizvi said the ruling was a “positive development” but added any decision on whether to take legal action against British newspapers would wait for the outcome of the Lords spot-fixing inquiry.

But former chief selector Iqbal Qasim said legal action should be taken against The Sun.

“Newspapers levelled allegations against Pakistan at will. The PCB must take legal action against the newspaper so that they don’t make these allegations in future,” said Qasim.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari congratulated the team on the judgement and said it showed the need for “fair and independent investigations” on all the claims made against the cricket team.

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