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Fourth Pakistan cricket player suspected of spot-fixing


A fourth Pakistan cricket player is being investigated over alleged match-fixing, according to a British newspaper report on Sunday. The player in question has not been named.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has refused to comment on the report, which appeared in Britain's News of the World.

Last week, the ICC charged three top players after the paper claimed it had paid the agent for several Pakistani players 150,000 pounds (180,000 euros) in return for advance knowledge of plays in last month's final Test against England.

On Thursday, the ICC decided to provisionally suspended Test captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif, pending a decision on the allegations.

The three were questioned by police on Friday, but released without charge.

The news has infuriated many cricket fans in Pakistan.

The country's ambassador to Britain, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, criticised the ICC's decision to suspend the three players, accusing the body of "playing to the public gallery".

But on Sunday he told the BBC that the sportsmen should be prosecuted and banned from cricket for life if the allegations against them prove true.

Meanwhile former team captain Imran Khan said that the scandal reflected wider corruption in Pakistan.

"We are regarded as a corrupt country because our institutions are not strong and the same thing is happening in cricket because of ad-hocism in the game," he told reporters on Sunday.

Despite the controversy, Pakistan team manger Yawar Saeed insisted that Sunday's first Twenty20 match against England in Cardiff will still go ahead.