Afridi Sparks England Fury with Trott Police Claim
Byline: LAWRENCE BOOTH
THE bitter relations between England and Pakistan took another turn for the worse yesterday when Shahid Afridi claimed his team could have reported Jonathan Trott to the police following his spat with Wahab Riaz at Lord's on Monday.
On the day Pakistan cricket boss Ijaz Butt called for ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat to be sacked over his handling of the spot-fixing crisis, Afridi further infuriated England by attempting to claim the moral high ground over the Trott-Riaz bust-up.
'When Riaz was returning after warming up, Trott called him a "match fixer" and said that he was up to harming Test cricket and hit his face with the pad,' said the Pakistan skipper ahead of today's one-day series decider at the Rose Bowl.
'It could have been a police case because it is a crime to hit someone, but we showed a big heart and did not press for it.' A furious England insist the matter was closed after ICC match referee Jeff Crowe spoke to Trott and seam bowler Riaz following their clash in the Nursery Ground nets before the fourth one-day international.
But their mood will not have been improved by yet more incendiary remarks from Butt, who was in Dubai yesterday to explain to Lorgat and ICC president Sharad Pawar why he accused England of throwing the third one-day international at The Brit Oval last week.
That claim brought threats of legal action from the ECB and the England players, who experts say could collect up to [pounds sterling]100,000 each if they sue the chief executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board for defamation.
Yet instead of retracting his claim, Butt -- already the international game's No 1 pariah -- went on another remarkable offensive, insisting Lorgat should have told the PCB that the ICC would be looking into allegations of spot-fixing at The Oval before issuing a press release.
'It's nonsense,' said Butt.
'They just got some material from the media. Lorgat is an employee of ICC and they should consider sacking him. They should also investigate the English team. Go ahead and investigate both sides and see who is responsible.' Butt has long been a discredited figure both within Pakistani cricket circles and at the international game's high table, but the comments made by Afridi, a fellow professional, will stick in English throats as the NatWest Series reaches a potentially explosive climax.
Afridi yesterday admitted his side had considered not playing at Lord's in protest after Trott allegedly grabbed Riaz by the throat before the pair were separated by England batting coach Graham Gooch. …