New Delhi:It's Pakistan vs the International Cricket Council (ICC) now in the spot-fixing controversy. The Pakistani High Commissioner to London, Wajid Shamshul Hasan, has accused the ICC of "playing to the gallery" by suspending the three Pakistani cricketers at the centre of a corruption controversy. The ICC has refuted the High Commissioner's charges, saying "there is no conspiracy against Pakistan." (See: Pak match-fixing scandal in pics)
Hasan has repeatedly expressed his support for the cricketers - Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, saying that he believes they are innocent. He said that the ICC's decision to suspend them before a police investigation is completed is unfair. Hasan also suggested that Sharad Pawar, who is the President of the ICC, seems to have influenced the suspension. (Watch: No conspiracy against Pakistan, says ICC)
On Thursday, the Pakistani team manager said the tainted trio had been dropped for the one-day series against England. Hours later, after meeting with the cricketers, Hasan stressed that the players had voluntarily stepped down because of the "mental torture" they were undergoing as a result of the controversy. (Video Special: Match-fixing storm)
After his meeting with the trio, Hasan met with the ICC's CEO, Haroon Lorgat. "When Lorgat came to me I told him that the players themselves had opted out and how English Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke was happy with their decision." (Watch: What is spot-fixing)
"I heard him (Lorgat) talking to Pawar. I don't know what transpired between them but immediately after that he left my office and prepared a 5-page notice and handed it to the players. There seems to be a conspiracy to keep Pakistan out," Hasan said.
"He (Lorgat) should have the courage to tell me that he was serving notices to the players."
Lorgat said at a press conference on Friday that "the very reason I met the High Commissioner of Pakistan because we knew we would be suspending the players. I will differ with the interpretation that the High Commissioner has put to the meeting."
Lorgat emphasized there is no conspiracy against Pakistan. He also said he does not believe that spot-fixing is a widespread problem in cricket.
The ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit is conducting an inquiry into the expose that erupted last weekend.
A UK tabloid caught on hidden camera a man named Mazhar Majeed who said he could ensure three no-balls at a pre-determined schedule in exchange for 150,000 pounds. The no-balls were delivered by Asif and Amir at the exact points promised by Majeed in the England vs Pakistan test match at Lord's. Majeed is seen on camera describing Butt as "the ring-leader" of Pakistani cricketers who collaborate with bookies.
"I can't say if the players will be criminally charged," said Ronnie Flanagan, who heads the Anti-Corruption Unit, on Friday evening. He also said that it would be unfair to the crickets to discuss the evidence found against them so far.(Watch: Indian bookies framed our players, says Hasan)