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No spot-fixing jibes, promises Pietersen

AFP
Jan 16, 2012 at 06:50pm IST

Dubai: England batsman Kevin Pietersen promised there will not be any spot-fixing jibes aimed at Pakistan players when the two teams meet in the first Test in Dubai on Tuesday.

The three-Test series is the first between the two nations since the 2010 spot-fixing scandal, which ended in lengthy bans and jail terms for then Pakistan captain Salman Butt and pacemen Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer. The trio, along with their agent Mazhar Majeed, were found guilty for their roles in a plan to deliberately bowl no-balls as part of a scam during the Lord's Test against England.

The lead-up to the current series has been dominated by discussion about the scandal, stirring anger in the Pakistan camp, led by captain Misbah-ul Haq, at the perceived distraction from the cricket.

No spot-fixing jibes, promises Pietersen

The three-Test series is the first between the two nations since the 2010 spot-fixing scandal.

But Pietersen, a notoriously combative player, said the scandal will be banished from players' minds when the cricket starts, and dispelled any suggestions that England could use the issue to sledge their opponents.

"There will not be an undercurrent about what happened in 2010. Not with our players - we've spoken about it and it will not happen at all with us," Pietersen told reporters. "Of course there will still be on-field chat because we play our cricket very hard. There's no way Jimmy Anderson, who is a grumpy bowler, won't be grumpy. But there will be no hangover from the past."

Fast bowler Stuart Broad, however, has admitted players involved in the 2010 series were still "a little hurt" by the scandal which overshadowed England's Lord's performance.

"A win at Lord's, one of the highlights of any cricketer's career, was turned into a very sour occasion," Broad wrote in a Daily Mail column.

"Nobody will start any problems but people are still a little hurt by it all so we want to get the job done here," said Broad, who scored his maiden hundred in that Lord's Test.

"There is history between the sides but it's important we as players don't get caught up in that. We just have to focus on what we do without taking away our aggressive approach."

Broad bruised his left foot during practice on Sunday but was expected to be fit for the first Test.

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