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Pakistan trying to focus on tour matches

CARDIFF: Pakistan's scandal-hit cricket team tried to regain their focus on Saturday on looming tour matches against England after British police questioned three star players over an alleged betting scam.

Test captain Salman Butt plus bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were all released without charge on Friday after the interviews at a police station near the “home of cricket”, Lord's in north London.

Team manager Yawar Saeed said on Friday he was “not happy” about the situation but was trying to focus on his duties ahead of the forthcoming two Twenty20 internationals and five one-day games against England.

The sanctions have infuriated the Pakistani authorities, in particular Pakistan High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan, who has said he believes the players are innocent and has suggested they may have been set up.

“I met the cricketers for two hours, cross-questioned them, got to the bottom of it and concluded that they were innocent,” Hasan told the BBC on Friday.

“The ICC had no business to take this action. The ICC is just playing to the public gallery. — AFP

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