London:In an exclusive interview to NDTV, the Chief Executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC), Haroon Lorgat, has said that there is enough clinching evidence to charge the three Pakistani cricketers in the recent spot-fixing scandal. (Watch: Exclusive chat with Haroon Lorgat)
His comments come hours after the Scotland Yard grilled 18-year-old Amir about an alleged conspiracy to defraud bookmakers. Amir was interrogated at the Kilburn police station in north London in the presence of his solicitor. (Read: Mohammad Amir grilled by Scotland Yard)
The entire scandal took a completely new turn as the Pakistani High Commissioner to the UK, Wajid Shamshul Hasan, accused the ICC of "playing to the gallery" by suspending the three Pakistani cricketers at the centre of a corruption controversy. (See: Pakistan match-fixing scandal in pics)
The ICC has refuted the High Commissioner's charges, saying "there is no conspiracy against Pakistan." (Read)
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 has sought to insinuate that ICC president Sharad Pawar has a hand in that decision. (Read: Action against tainted trio - Pak blames Pawar)
On the entire issue, Lorgat expressed his disappointment and said that it was sad that Pakistan believes this is a conspiracy against its cricketers after the support we've given them through all crisis. (Watch: No conspiracy against Pakistan, says ICC)
Earlier in the day, Lorgat said at a press conference 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." (Video Special: Match-fixing storm)
Lorgat emphasised 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.
Talking about 19-year-old cricketer Mohammed Amir, Lorgat said that he feels sorry for him and hopes that the Pakistan Cricket Board will support him.
About ICC's role in curbing corruption in cricket, Lorgat said that only strong actions can deter cricketers from indulging in such activities and show that the body has the teeth to discipline them.
Meanwhile, disappointed at the 'spot-fixing' scandal that has plunged the game into a crisis, senior Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar said on Friday that the ICC should thoroughly investigate the matter and take action against accused players if they are found guilty. (Read: ICC should take action against guilty, says Sachin)
The three tainted Pakistani cricketers also received a jolt recently when the estranged girlfriend of the Pakistani pacer Mohammad Asif, Veena Malik, surfaced on several TV channels claiming she knew all along that Asif was involved in fixing and showed calls and SMS records to substantiate her claims.
It was Malik who revealed that a freelance photographer Dheeraj Dixit was Asif's alleged Indian link who facilitated fixing of matches played in India. This angered Dheeraj who has decided to due Malik for "tarnishing his image". (Read: I will sue Veena Malik, says Dheeraj Dixit | Who is Dheeraj Dixit?)