No choice but to play on, says England skipper

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> England captain Andrew Strauss said his side had no choice but to complete the ODI series against Pakistan despite fresh &quot;spot-fixing&quot; claims.

Updated: September 19, 2010 17:09 IST
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England captain Andrew Strauss said his side had no choice but to complete the one-day series against Pakistan despite fresh "spot-fixing" claims involving the scandal-tainted tourists.

Cricket was facing a new scandal on Saturday after the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed it was investigating possible irregularities in Pakistan's limited overs victory over England at the Oval on Friday.

The latest revelations prompted calls from figures within the game including former England captain Michael Vaughan for the remaining two matches in the England-Pakistan series to be scrapped.

However, Strauss said on Sunday it was impossible for English authorities to cancel the final two games - at Lords on Monday and Southampton on Wednesday - before all the facts surrounding the latest allegations were known.

"It's not ideal that the cricket is being overshadowed even more than it was previously by these latest allegations," Strauss said.

"But we don't know how credible they are, so as a side - unless the ICC come out and say they are very credible - we've just got to continue to play and to strive to win this series."

The ICC said it was investigating a "certain scoring pattern" that emerged during Pakistan's victory over England at the Oval.

It followed a report by The Sun newspaper, which claimed to have been made aware of details of Pakistan's innings before the match had got underway.

The paper tipped off cricket authorities, who then watched as the scoring patterns in two suspect overs emerged as predicted.

The investigation comes after three Pakistan players were suspended following their alleged involvement in spot-fixing.

Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif have all been questioned by police over an alleged plot to bowl deliberate no-balls during last month's Test series. All deny any wrongdoing.

Strauss said on Sunday he would be "astonished" if it emerged that other Pakistan players had been involved in fixing aspects of Friday's one-dayer.

"The last thing the game needs right now is to be dragged through the mill even further," added the England captain.

"It would astonish me if something like this was going on, given the circumstances in which this one-day series is being played.

"But if it is, obviously that is a pretty strong indictment of how prevalent this type of thing is in the game of cricket.

"But we just don't know how credible that information is, and it would be wrong for me to speculate on whether there is any credibility to it at all.

"It would be wrong for us to vote with our feet on something that may be just a crank call. We just don't know."

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