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Eoin Morgan 'blackmailed over relationship with Australian woman'

Eoin Morgan - the Irish cricketer appointed England's one-day captain - has been blackmailed for tens of thousands of pounds by an Australian man threatening to release embarrassing details about a past relationship, it has been reported.

According to the Evening Standard, £35,000 was demanded from the Dublin-born batsman “before the first ball” of Fridays Tri-Series opener between England and Australia.

With the English and Wales Cricket Board being a hub of controversy recently, the details of the latest incident, relating to a brief relationship Morgan had with a single Australian woman five years ago, were released amid fears it would disrupt the preparations for the upcoming one-day series.

Less than 24 hours after the ECB informed the UK police of the incident the suspect, believed to be the current boyfriend of the Australian woman, was traced to Hobart, Australia – also the location of Friday's match.

Managing Director of the ECB Paul Downton told the Standard that the suspect allegedly found the embarrassing information, which included videos, on an old phone belonging to the Australian woman.

“We contacted the Metropolitan Police and a brief investigation tracked down the individual.,” Mr Downton said. “He has now apologised saying it was not intended to go this far.”

He added: “It was a brief relationship five years ago and what appears to be a fairly deliberate attempt to extort a sum of money from the ECB. We will not allow anyone to distract the players or the England captain.

“I am pleased that this issue has now been brought to a conclusion.”

The ECB have since stated that they will “not be seeking further action against the individual at this stage.”

Morgan, who replaced Alistair Cook as England's one-day captain in December, met his current long-term Australian girlfriend Tara Ridgway in November 2010.

According to the Standard, the woman from Morgan's former relationship was not involved in the attempted blackmail and responded “angrily” to the news.

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