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Pakistan players could be dropped from tour

The four Pakistan cricketers who have been the main focus of the spot-fixing scandal will not be suspended on the basis of the allegations that have come from the News of the World’s monster scoop this weekend, if you listen to Ijaz Butt, Pakistan’s cricket chairman, but the BBC reckon that they will be pulled off the tour, citing something along the lines of ‘lack of mental focus.

The Beeb’s Pat Murphy is convinced that Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Kamran Akmal will not play again on this current tour, even if the authorities say they will respect the players’ right to be considered innocent until proven guilty.

‘A conference call between Pakistan high commissioner (Wajid Shamsul Hasan) and chairman of the cricket board (Ijaz Butt), who are in London and sports minister (Ijaz Hussain Jakhrani) in Islamabad will take place on Tuesday,’ said Murphy. ‘And given the importance of cricket in Pakistan, Prime Minister (Yusuf Raza Gilani) may also be directly involved in the discussions.

‘Although the players will still be deemed to be innocent until proven guilty, it's almost certain they will taken out of the firing line and the formula of words citing mental pressure and a lack of necessary focus, will necessitate their withdrawal from the Twenty20 matches and the one-day series.’ Watch this space, readers.

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