England cricketers avoiding Pakistan players: Stuart Broad
The English players are avoiding the Pakistan cricketers ahead of their ICC World Cup 2011 warm-up match, scheduled to be played on Friday.
Both the teams are in Bangladesh, staying in the same hotel for the mega event, which is being jointly hosted by India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the Subcontinent.
England paceman Stuart Broad said, “We've not seen a huge amount of them (pakistani players) in the hotel. We've not been going out for dinner with them particularly."
Broad admitted that England’s summer was ruined by the spot-fixing saga which rocked the cricketing world. He reiterated that playing under those circumstances was quite difficult for his side.
“Obviously it was a tough summer for us last year. All England players will say the same. We enjoyed playing cricket, but off-the-field incidents did damage our wonderful summer of cricket,” he said.
However, the lanky pacer insisted that his team was in the Subcontinent to win the World Cup, and had left things like spot-fixing behind them.
Broad has been out of the English squad because of injury-related issues. He was sent back home after playing one match of the Ashes during the Australian tour. He spent the seven-match One Day International series out of the team as well because of his
abdominal muscle tearing.
Nevertheless, he made an impressive return in the warm-up match against Canada, where he helped his side clinch a narrow victory by 16 runs. He took five wickets against them.
Relations between the two teams have been cold since the spot-fixing fiasco that took place in August last year. Three Pakistan players Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt were handed ban on charges of spot-fixing during the Lord’s Test against
The matter took an ugly turn when Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt accused some English players of taking bribes as well.
This statement by the PCB chairman was criticised by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). Later, the England board demanded an immediate apology from Butt. However, the matter was resolved after Butt retracted from his statement.
Moreover, the chairman’s statement left negative impact on the players from both the teams. The incident also resulted in an ugly situation between England’s Jonathan Trott and Pakistan’s left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz who got into a scuffle during a practice
The series till date is considered as the most controversial cricketing event, which rattled the cricketing boards of England and Pakistan. The three Pakistan players were tried by an International Cricket Council anti-corruption tribunal in Doha, Qatar.
Finally, the tribunal found the trio guilty of foul play.
Butt was banned for 10 years, Asif for seven and Amir for five years. Because of the ICC verdict, the trio will not be featuring in this year’s ICC World Cup 2011 and Pakistan will have to rely on their second string bowling attack.