Pakistan withdrew test captain Salman Butt and their two opening bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif from their one-day team on Thursday after intense pressure from the world and English governing bodies.

Police confiscated the three players' mobile phones after allegations in a British newspaper that they taken bribes to fix incidents in the final test against England at Lord's. The report said Amir and Asif had deliberately bowled no-balls by pre-arrangement.

Pakistan High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan told reporters in London that the trio had maintained their innocence but had asked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to pull them out of the remainder of the tour because of the mental torture they had undergone.

However, a source in the Pakistan team told Reuters the ICC had advised PCB chairman Ijaz Butt to withdrew them while investigations were underway.

The English and Wales Cricket Board had also lobbied hard to get the PCB to drop the trio for a seven-match one-day series which starts with a Twenty20 match in Cardiff on Sunday.

The news that Butt, Amir and Asif had been dropped was announced by team manager Yawar Saeed before play began in a one-day 50 overs warmup match against Somerset on a sun-drenched day in Taunton.

The T20 squad for two games will remain as it is here this morning, this means 13 people. For the one-day internationals subsequently we will be asking for replacements to make up the squad of 16 again, he told reporters.

The three players had to force their way through a media scrum into the Pakistan high commission and Hasan was besieged by questions when he emerged to confirm they would be taking no further part in the tour of England and Wales.

They said they are extremely disturbed at what has happened, Hasan told reporters. They mentioned that they are entirely innocent.


ECB chairman Giles Clarke said the board welcomed the decision.

As chairman of the ICC's (International Cricket Council) Pakistan task team I look forward to working with Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board and everyone involved in taking forward cricket in Pakistan, Clarke said in a statement read to reporters.

While the news was breaking, a large crowd at the Somerset county cricket ground was enjoying the sun and a century from Pakistan opener Shahzaib Hasan, who scored 105 in his team's 264 in 47.3 overs.

Shahid Afridi, returning to action as the one-day captain, made only two but still led his team to victory by eight runs despite an unbeaten 122 by Zander de Bruyn.

The boys are now trying to focus on the cricket, he told Sky Sports before play began. We are here to play some good cricket.

A small but vociferous group of Pakistan supporters expressed their disappointment at missing the chance to see Mohammad Amir, in particular, but also criticised what they saw as the readiness of the British media to criticise their team.

If they are guilty then they should be punished, Beenish Faridi told Reuters. But these are allegations only and you can't blame the whole team. The whole team is suffering because of this.

Otherwise the crowd was largely oblivious to the off-field developments, although there was some loud cheers when Umar Gul bowled a no-ball late in the day.

(Editing by Sonia Oxley)