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Bell says Trott clash can bolster England

Jonathan Trott and Wahab Riaz had an altercation minutes before the fourth one-day at Lord's.

  • AFP
  • Updated: September 22, 2010, 9:15 AM IST
Bell says Trott clash can bolster England

London: Ian Bell believes fellow England batsman Jonathan Trott's clash with Pakistan's Wahab Riaz will help forge the kind of spirit the team will need to sustain them on their upcoming tour of Australia.

Newspaper reports said Trott and Riaz had an altercation minutes before the fourth one-day at Lord's, with Trott grabbing Riaz by the throat after both exchanged heated words in the net area.

"When Riaz was returning after warming up Trott called him a 'match fixer' and that he (Riaz) was harming Test cricket and hit his face with the pad," Pakistan one-day captain Shahid Afridi told Geo television in London.

But Bell, a team-mate of Trott's at Warwickshire, said the South Africa-born top-order player was unaffected by the incident. "Things like this can be hard to get over, but when I saw Trotty he acted as if nothing had happened and he'd dealt with it.

"Match referee Jeff Crowe, the former New Zealand captain, declared the incident closed and the match -- which had been threatened by Pakistan cricket chief Ijaz Butt's claims that England players had accepted enormous sums of money to 'fix' the third one-dayer at The Oval, went ahead as scheduled.

Riaz, 25, was one of four Pakistani players interviewed by Scotland Yard earlier this month over claims in the News of the World tabloid that spot-fixing took place during last month's Lord's Test.

The three others were Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif who, unlike Riaz, have all been suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Pakistan won by 38 runs at Lord's to square the five-match series at 2-2 ahead of the finale at Hampshire's Rose Bowl ground on Wednesday but Bell insisted England would be better for Trott's clash, if not their defeat.

"Without a shadow of a doubt, this team would never leave someone to battle on their own -- and no England team I've ever been involved in would do that," Bell said. November sees England begin the defence of the Ashes in Australia -- where they have not won a Test series in nearly 25 years.

"This incident has brought the guys closer together, and we hope that will help us in the future -- because the Australia tour will be tough," Bell warned.

"If we can get through things like this as a team it is something to move on from."Bell added he was "surprised" by Trott's confrontation with Riaz. "Trotty is a good friend and someone I've played a lot of cricket with. "I was a little bit surprised that he got into a confrontation like this. But he is massively passionate and there have been those issues.

"I don't really know what happened here. All I know is it has been dealt with," Bell said of an incident the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) reiterated Tuesday was, in their opinion "closed" after Crowe decided against taking any action.Pakistan are facing fresh charges of spot-fixing at The Oval on Friday.

British tabloid The Sun reported it tipped off the ICC the pattern of Pakistan's scoring was pre-arranged with the book-makers. The ICC has launched a separate inquiry into these claims.

Meanwhile Afridi praised his side's restraint and their resilience. "It could have been a police case because it is a crime to hit someone, but we showed a big heart and did not press for it," he said. "There is a conspiracy to finish the Pakistan team, but the Pakistani people are different, they rise in such a situation."

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1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 Australia 3028 116
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 South Africa 2499 96
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1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
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