A new twist in the betting scandal saga has left today’s fixture between England and Pakistan tainted after allegations by Ijaz Butt.
Pakistan’s victory over England, their first in the One Day International series, saw new allegations that meant the International Cricket Council launched an investigation into match betting patterns.
England were cleared off any involvement by the ICC on Sunday night but are furious amidst accusations from Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, Butt.
Butt told Indian television show NDTV, “there is loud and clear talk in bookie circles that some English players were paid enormous amounts of money to lose.
“No wonder there was total collapse of the English side.”
Speaking before Butt’s comments, Andrew Strauss said, “It’s hard to stop a series when we don’t know how credible the evidence is.”
The England camp has been left reeling by the Pakistan chairman’s comments but will go ahead with today’s fixture after Butt backtracked on his weekend’s comments.
“The total statement I made [to NDTV] categorically explained that the bookies are saying this,” said Butt, “I am not saying this.”
Pakistan have shown improvement throughout the three ODI’s thus far but England will want to make sure of the series win after missing out on Saturday.
Ian Bell may return to the side after his century for Warwickshire helped them lift the Clydesdale Bank 40 trophy.
With the Ashes squad being announced on Thursday, Bell will be hoping for a chance to impress the selectors.
It’s almost certain Bell will travel to Australia for the test series which England are 9/4 to win, but he’ll revel in the chance to help England clinch a series victory against Pakistan – they are 2/5 to win the fourth ODI.
Pakistan are 7/4 to win if the match goes ahead. See the latest England vs Pakistan fourth ODI betting market here.