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Cricket players, fans react to claims of betting scam

The Pakistan team is listed in the match program August 29 during day four of the 4th Test match with England in London.
The Pakistan team is listed in the match program August 29 during day four of the 4th Test match with England in London.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • UK police arrested man accused of plotting to fix parts of Pakistan-England match
  • Cricket stars, experts and fans react to news of alleged betting scam
  • Former England captain Michael Vaughan: It's going to be a long day
  • Cricket expert: Whether claims are true or not it has put a real dampener on the series

London, England (CNN) -- Sadness and anger have greeted claims of a betting scam linked to the Pakistani cricket team during its major international match with England in London last week.

British police arrested a man Saturday accused of plotting to fix parts of the game, a source familiar with the investigation told CNN on Sunday. The International Cricket Council, the sport's governing body, says that no players nor team officials have been arrested.

Cricketer Kevin Pietersen, who played for England in the series against Pakistan, said Sunday through his twitter account: "Wow.. Woken up to hear some interesting revelations on our test!! Today is gonna be interesting..."

Meanwhile former England captain Michael Vaughan, who led the team in its famed 2005 Ashes victory against Australia, said on his Twitter account. "Anger is my thoughts at the moment... very sad." Earlier he wrote: "Dark suit today for a very dark day for cricket... me think it's going to be a long day..."

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Ehsan Mani, former president of the International Cricket Council, the sport's governing body, told CNN it was important the Pakistani cricket board and ICC act decisively and quickly.

"There's absolutely no place for corruption in the game," he said, "and that will destroy the game we love so much. So it is absolutely essential that very decisive action is taken."

He said that Pakistan already faced severe problems due to the security situation and devastation from the floods, adding "cricket was one thing that people, you know, held onto as a lifeline of hope. And to have something like this, if it's true, a scandal like this, is absolutely devastating for the country."

Edward Craig, deputy editor of cricketing bible Wisden Cricketers' Almanack -- the bible of the game -- told CNN: "Whether they are true or not it has put a real dampener on the series."

There's absolutely no place for corruption in the game
--Ehsan Mani, former president of the International Cricket Council
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He added that Pakistani cricketers were immensely talented and had the potential to be the best side in the world if they could get themselves well organised and well managed.

"The problem is with things like this going on and allegations like these flying around, it's unlikely that that is going to happen any time soon."

Fans at the final day of Sunday's match between England and Pakistan expressed their anger at the allegations, UK news agencies reported.

Mark Stevens, from Bath, southern England, told the Press Association: "It's just very disappointing - I'll be wanting my hard-earned cash back if the players turn out to be guilty."

And Patrick Archibald, an England fan who was born in Karachi, Pakistan, said the betting industry was to blame, the agency reported.

"If bookies were not allowed to take bets on bowls then we wouldn't have these ridiculous situations in the first place," he added.

Meanwhile online cricketing fans around the world expressed their thoughts through social media such as Twitter.

"ZeeshanAM," who gave his location as Dubai, UAE, said: "The Pakistan cricket mess.. Makes me wonder how much does this happen in cricket, but we're just unaware?"

"carriesparkle" wrote "am too depressed re cricket," while "marcthiv," who gave their location as London, asked: "Wonder if I'll get my money back on Pakistan to win?! Wishful thinking."

But "ibadtariq" who gives his location as Islamabad, Pakistan, states: "Pakistan cricket will rise again!"

-- Caroline Paterson and Richard Allen Greene contributed to this story