Belfast Telegraph

Cricket 'blackmail' plot 'sorted'

Dublin-born England one-day international cricket captain Eoin Morgan has been targeted in an alleged blackmail plot following a brief relationship with an Australian woman,

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said it received an email from a man demanding a five-figure sum to prevent a story about the pair appearing in national newspapers in the UK and Australia.

The governing body said the individual - who is the woman's current boyfriend - apologised when they confronted him in Australia following discussions with the Metropolitan Police in London.

The ECB said it is not seeking further action against him "at this stage".

According to the London Evening Standard, he demanded £35,000 before England's next tri-series match against Australia.

Paul Downton, ECB managing director, said in a statement: " We will not allow anyone to disrupt our team's preparation or performance in the tri-series and as we build up to the World Cup.

"I am pleased that this issue has now been brought to a swift conclusion. At this point we'd like to thank the Metropolitan Police for their advice, which assisted us in dealing with this in the swiftest possible manner."

The man, named by Australian media as Nick Emery, a workplace safety consultant from Hobart, Tasmania, told the Herald Sun newspaper that he possessed "sexually-based" messages exchanged between his partner and Morgan, but he had not intended to commit blackmail.

"It's done. It's dealt with. I did the wrong thing in the wrong state of mind," he said.

"I was in a very angry and bad head space.

"Everything is sorted now. They were very understanding. We came to an agreement."

Morgan, 28, was named as England captain last month.

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