I wanted to get out of there

England bowler Graeme Swann has said that he and several of his teammates didn’t want to play the fourth one-day international match against Pakistan on Monday after Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt put forward allegations of corruption among the English ranks.

Butt made explicit allegations that England players had been paid ‘enormous amounts of money’ to throw the third ODI last Friday, which the England players deny and sounded like an attempt to deflect criticism from Pakistan’s players, some of whom had been accused of spot-fixing in a News of the World expose. Swann says that the England squad were extremely angry at Butt, and will start legal proceedings if he does not retract his comments.

‘I couldn't wait for those games to end and get the hell out of there,’ said Swann. ‘It was a dreadful experience and one I never want to experience again.

‘In fact, I didn't want to play at all in the one-dayer on Monday. I won't lie about that – I was dead against playing. And I wasn't alone, plenty of other players had strong reservations. But Straussy, who has been brilliant throughout this episode, persuaded us the best thing we could do was get on with it as a team and make sure we won the series. He was proved to be right.

‘I want to say I agree 100% with the decision to send a letter on behalf of the England team demanding an apology from PCB chairman Ijaz Butt. If we do not receive a satisfactory response, we will start legal proceedings.

‘Mr Butt's comments were as offensive as they could possibly be. They went against everything I stand for as a professional sportsman.

‘We felt powerless as players because as soon as somebody says something like that and it is read by cricket followers, our name is sullied. You can't go around accusing people and pointing fingers with completely unsubstantiated claims.’

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