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Ijaz Butt withdraws allegations of match-fixing

After a meeting with ECB chairman Giles Clarke on Wednesday, Butt said he wished to withdraw the comments on behalf of himself and the PCB.

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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt unreservedly withdrew on Wednesday allegations of match-fixing against the England team in the third one-day international at the Oval on September 17.

The England and Wales and Cricket Board (ECB) had threatened to take immediate legal action unless Butt gave a "full and unreserved apology" for his suggestions on a television channel that the England players had taken bribes to lose the match.

After a meeting with ECB chairman Giles Clarke on Wednesday, Butt said he wished to withdraw the comments on behalf of himself and the PCB.

"It is regrettable that there was a misunderstanding arising from my comments," Butt said in a joint statement issued by the two boards.

"I would like to make it quite clear that in the statements which I made that I never intended to question the behaviour and 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."

Butt said he also wanted to make it clear that he had never seen any evidence of wrongdoing by the England team 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," he said.

Butt's apology was welcomed by the ECB and the England team who said they now regarded the matter as closed. Clarke said he would continue in his role as the International Cricket Council Task Team chairman.

The Task Team is working to help Pakistan play international cricket while its team are forced to play all their matches abroad because of the tense security situation at home.

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