LONDON/DUBAI - Dave Richardson, chief executive of the International Cricket Council, appears confident the third one-day international between England and Pakistan this week was clean despite reports of irregular betting patterns before the game.

Suspicion was aroused after England were backed as strong favourites to win the game in Sharjah on Wednesday, a rare occurrence when they play in Asia. Pakistan’s performance then drew suspicion as they suffered three run outs and collapsed, losing eight wickets for 75 runs.

It is understood that after making initial inquiries, the ICC is satisfied at the moment that nothing untoward happened in Sharjah, a venue mired in match-fixing scandal during the 1990s.

“Pakistan players are reporting every approach that seems to come their way. I wouldn’t be too suspicious if I were you. You can’t be absolutely certain that it’s clean, but the signs are good,” Richardson told the BBC.

ICC anti-corruption officers have policed the games in the United Arab Emirates and ejected from grounds spectators suspected of ‘courtsiding’, which involves individuals in constant contact on mobile phones with bookies in India and relaying live information in order to beat the time delay on satellite television images which can be up to 15 seconds behind play.

The betting industry shares information with sporting governing bodies and investigators at the ICC and the England & Wales Cricket Board have relied on their expertise in past investigations. Proving a link between strange betting patterns and actual fixes on the field is extremely difficult and relies on the help of whistle-blowers to provide inside information.

Bookies with even a scrap of inside information can manipulate odds in their favour. Often the ‘courtsiders’ are the first link in the chain which is why ACSU officers constantly scan the crowd, using the help of television broadcasters, to spot any suspicious behaviour.

Meanwhile, Pakistan head coach Waqar Younis Friday brushed aside British tabloid claims of match-fixing against his team in their six-wicket defeat in the third ODI against England in Sharjah.

British tabloid Daily Mail alleged the match on Tuesday was under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Unit of the International Cricket Council (ICC) over unusual patterns of betting. The newspaper claimed the investigators were tipped off before the match that Pakistan would underperform in the game and that three run-outs, casual dismissals of batsmen and sloppy fielding were suspicious.

Pakistan were bowled out for 208 on a flat pitch, with skipper Azhar Ali, Mohammad Rizwan and Shoaib Malik run out.

Asked whether he was aware of the allegations, Waqar said: "I am not aware of that, but I have been hearing about this here and there about this but I am very clear about the Pakistan team and the boys. There is nothing wrong with the game."

England chased down the target after being 93-4 at one stage for a six- wicket win to take a 2-1 lead. They took the fourth and final match on Friday by 84 runs for a 3-1 series win.

Waqar said Pakistan's defeat in Sharjah had been unfortunate. "Yes, we lost the game. You lose and win games, and it's unfortunate the way the whole thing happened but I have no doubts in my boys and I am very satisfied."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan had raised doubts over the Sharjah match with tweets which were later deleted. "3 run outs and a few iffy shots for Pakistan ... Never seen that before," tweeted Vaughan before adding: "They must think we are stupid.” "I hate the fact we watch cricket with so much suspicions ... it shouldn't be that way."

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan criticised Vaughan for his tweets. "I think he has given a very wrong statement," said Khan on Friday. "It's very wrong and it's necessary to give our reaction and we will raise this matter with the ICC. Although he later deleted those tweets, the damage was done."

Pakistan have been embroiled in fixing scandals in the past with former captain Salim Malik banned for life in 2000. Australian trio Shane Warne, Tim May and Mark Waugh had alleged Malik offered them bribes to underperform on a tour to Pakistan in 1995 -- allegations which forced the Pakistan government to initiate a judicial inquiry.

The inquiry also fined six other players including Waqar, current bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed and pace legend Wasim Akram. Pakistan was again rocked in 2010 when then captain Salman Butt, M Asif and M Aamir were caught in a spot-fixing scandal on the tour to England.

All three were banned for five years and also jailed. Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria is also serving a life ban in a spot-fixing case in a county match in 2010.