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Pakistan’s Butt Drops Match-Fix Claim Against England, AFP Says

Ijaz Butt, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, withdrew his match-fixing allegations against England players and said there had been a “misunderstanding” over his comments, Agence France-Presse reported.

Last week English cricket officials wrote to Butt threatening legal action unless he issued a “full and unreserved apology” for the allegations.

Butt had said in a television interview there was “loud and clear talk in bookie circles that some English players have taken enormous amounts of money to lose” the third one-day international at the Oval in London on Sept. 17.

‘‘It is regrettable that there was a misunderstanding arising from my comments,’’ AFP cited Butt as saying in a statement today. ‘‘I never intended to question the behavior and integrity of the England players nor the England and Wales Cricket Board, nor to suggest that any of them were involved in any corrupt practices or in a conspiracy against Pakistan cricket.’’

He said he had never seen any evidence of wrongdoing by any England player or the ECB at any time, and added he hoped ‘‘this public withdrawal will draw a line under the matter.’’

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