Asad Aziz, the tour manager, said he was ``concerned and surprised at the rumour, speculation and unjustified conjecture'' surrounding the incident.
Aziz issued a written statement - an action which maintained his role as the 'invisible manager' since the mugging was first reported seven days ago as having occurred in Sandton, a Johannesburg suburb. All attempts to talk to him on this or purely cricketing matters had been met with a brick wall of silence.
He said he had personally satisfied himself that the players' story of the mugging - outside their team hotel, it was claimed - was ``true and accurate''.
He assured the police they would have his full co-operation in the investigation, something the investigating officers have sought from the outset. Detectives said, however, that two attempts to take sworn statements from Saqlain Mushtaq and Mohammad Akram had failed.
A police spokesman said it was ``increasingly unlikely'' that there would be a criminal prosecution, since the cricketers had been unable to come up with any description of their attackers. Police have interviewed members of Club 69, a call-girl establishment where it had been suggested the players visited on the night of the incident.
Police have so far been unable to trace any witnesses who were in the street where the players said they were attacked. No explanation has been forthcoming either about how the two reached the 20th-floor room of their five-star hotel around 9.30pm via the busy hotel lobby - where there is a strong security presence - before reporting the robbery.
The Pakistan manager said the publicity had affected all the players, and in particular Saqlain and Akram. ``They must now have the opportunity to devote their attention to the purpose of their visit to South Africa.'' He appealed to the media to let the matter drop.
An agency report published shortly before the statement was made said Pakistan's senior players had ``voted unanimously'' to cut short the tour on the grounds that they ``felt uncomfortable'' and ``did not feel safe to remain in the country''.
All attempts to obtain a response to this claim were met with a hostile reply from the local lawyer now employed by the tourists.
The fourth day of the first Test at the Wanderers ground was washed out yesterday. Fast-medium bowler Faizal-e-Akbar, 17, is due to arrive here to bolster Pakistan's injury-hit attack.