Jonathan Trott insists England bear no grudges against Pakistan, and regard the spot-fixing controversy as "case closed" as they concentrate instead on the remainder of the NatWest Series. Trott was one of two England batsmen to pass 50 - Steve Davies the other, in only his second one-day international - and therefore help the hosts go up 1-0 on Friday in the five-match series which continues at Headingley today.
The South African-born right-hander made headlines for another reason, though. He became involved in a spat with Kamran Akmal during Pakistan's innings which caused the umpire and Andrew Strauss, the England captain, to intervene. Strauss last night described the exchange as one of those occasions when a batsman "bites" at a fielder's remark. Trott, who baited Kamran from mid-on and then dropped the batsman in the deep a few overs later, played down the incident yesterday. "It was just a few things that go on the field," he said. "I said a few words, and he was saying a few and the umpires got in the middle of it. It was a mountain out of a molehill, really.
"I haven't said anything [to clear the air with Akmal]. I didn't think there was much need. I didn't say anything that extraordinary." Trott denied his exchange, or any others England may have with their opponents, had any reference to the allegations of corruption which have exclusively concerned Pakistani players and have rocked cricket over the past two weeks. Three players originally in the visitors' limited-overs squad - Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer - are already back in Pakistan, having been questioned by police under caution and also charged and suspended by the International Cricket Council under their anti-corruption code.
Kamran, meanwhile, is reportedly under the microscope of the world governing body's anti-corruption unit (ACSU). Wahab Riaz, his fellow squad member, will next week become the fourth player to be interviewed by police in the course of their inquiries into alleged spot-fixing at the Lord's Test. Asked whether there have been instances of pointed remarks on the field about the unseemly situation which has beset Pakistan, Trott said: "Not at all, nothing like that. Whatever is going on in the background is none of our business. We don't talk about it, really, on the field. We don't have any grudges. We just play cricket. The last thing you want is to be dragged down on the field."
On the contrary, he sees it as England's duty to try to heal the wounds. "It's important we project a good image and play within the rules, hard but fair. "Andrew [Strauss] has said at numerous times that [we accept] whatever the powers that be see fit. "As far as the England team are concerned, we go about our job in another four very important games. "I feel as though, whatever happened in the Test series, I've moved on. Whatever has happened is a closed case for us."
England have a series to win, and a good name to uphold. "All our jobs are just to play against 11 guys on the field. I don't think we can take off-the-field stuff on to it," Trott said. "Especially for me, that is something I don't want to do and I don't want it to distract me. I'm looking forward to going about my business the way I normally do, and so are the rest of the guys. "We have a job to do for the face of cricket, to project a great image, which I think we're doing pretty well. "It's a good test for us to maintain our focus. It's another challenge for us," he said. * Press Association