Three Pakistan cricketers accused of corruption in the much-publicised betting scandal are innocent, says the Pakistani high commissioner.

Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Ami have been accused of spot-fixing, after the News of the World claimed that the Pakistan cricketers accepted money for deliberate no-balls.

However, after a meeting with the cricket players, Pakistan high commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan said: “They are innocent and they are defending their innocence.”

All three cricketers have now pulled out of the England tour because of the “mental torture” of the scandal.

“The three players have said that they are extremely disturbed by what has happened in the past week, especially in regard of their alleged involvement in the crime,” Hasan told reporters.

“They mentioned that they are entirely innocent in the whole episode and shall defend their innocence as such.”

The England and Wales Cricket Board are understood to have demanded that the Pakistan players invloved in the betting scandal stand down from the forthcoming limited-overs matches. However, those implicated have pulled out of the tour by their own choice.

The players have still to be questioned by the police and the International Cricket Council.

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