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Pakistan skipper issues apology

Pakistan Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi has apologised on behalf of the three players caught up in the no-balls betting allegations.

Afridi also confirmed that the businessman at the heart of the allegations, Mazhar Majeed, and his brother Azhar, were managing the players involved.

Test captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer have maintained their innocence after last weekend's News of the World claimed it had uncovered a plot to bowl no-balls to order.

But speaking in Cardiff, Afridi said: "On behalf of these boys - I know they're not in this series - I want to say sorry to all cricket lovers and all the cricketing nations."

He said Mazhar and Azhar Majeed were representing several Pakistan players, adding: "These guys Azhar and Mazhar, they are their manager(s).

"He (Mazhar) has been travelling with some of the team guys, in Australia and the West Indies. I saw him on the tours but didn't know anything about it."

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has charged the trio of players under their anti-corruption code and provisionally banned them from playing in any match.

The three men were released without charge on Friday after being questioned under caution by detectives at Kilburn police station in north-west London. Mr Majeed has also been arrested and released without charge.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's former cricket captain Imran Khan said the ICC was right to suspend the players.

Khan told the BBC: "Whenever someone comes under a huge allegation like that, a devastating allegation like that, I think it's only right they should pull out until their name is cleared."

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