PCB chief withdraws remarks against English players

Butt had charged that England players were paid "enormous amounts of money" to lose the third ODI match at the Oval. Responding to his remarks, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had threatened legal action and demanded "unreserved" apology from him.

After a meeting with his ECB counterpart Giles Clarke today, Butt said that he never "intended to question the integrity of the England players nor the ECB nor to suggest that any of them were involved in any corrupt practices or in a conspiracy against Pakistan cricket", a joint statement issued by ECB and PCB said.

"It is regrettable that there was a misunderstanding arising from my comments", Butt said and ECB, in its turn, declared that it now considered the matter as closed. But said "I wish personally and on behalf of the Pakistan Cricket Board to withdraw the comments I made concerning the England and Wales Cricket Board and each of the England players who played in the NatWest One Day International at the Brit Insurance Oval on Friday 17 September".

He said "I wish to make it clear that I have never seen any evidence of any wrong doing by any England player or the ECB at any time". "I deeply and sincerely regret that my statements have been interpreted to cast doubt upon the good names of the England players and the ECB and hope that this public withdrawal will draw a line under the matter", Butt said.

The joint statement said the ECB and the England players, who played at the Oval match, "warmly welcome this (Butt's) withdrawal and now regard the matter as closed".

Butt said the Pakistan Cricket Board, like all other cricket governing bodies, is committed to a "zero tolerance" policy to corruption in the game and will continue to work hard with the relevant authorities to eradicate it.

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