Morgan: No distractions

Published: Friday 23rd January 2015 by The News Editor

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England captain Eoin Morgan insists his involvement in a lurid blackmail plot has not distracted him from the job at hand, despite being dismissed first ball in the Tri-Series defeat to Australia.

The England and Wales Cricket Board on Thursday lifted the lid on an Australian resident’s attempt to use details of a brief relationship from Morgan’s past to raise a five-figure pay-off – reportedly £35,000 – from the organisation.

The ECB said it received an email from an Australian man demanding the money to prevent him revealing details regarding a relationship Morgan had with a woman five years ago to newspapers in the UK and Australia.

ECB officials in Australia approached the Tasmanian after discussions with the Metropolitan Police.

The man concerned, reportedly a Hobart workplace safety consultant who is in a relationship with the woman, admitted and apologised for his actions when confronted.

He contacted a Melbourne newspaper admitting he was the man involved and saying he was in possession of ”sexually based” messages exchanged between his partner and the 28-year-old.

Although the issue created headlines in England and Australia, the ECB plan no more action against the man involved “at this stage”.

Less than 24 hours after the story emerged, Morgan led his side out against Australia in Hobart.

The day did not provide any light relief for the Dubliner, who was dismissed for a golden duck and saw his side slip to a three-wicket defeat.

However, he declined to blame his unusual build-up for the disappointment.

“It hasn’t been distracting at all. I spoke with the ECB yesterday (Thursday) and I was very happy for them to deal with it,” he said.

“They told me just to focus on the cricket 100 per cent and I’ve done that.

“I was very comfortable with them looking after the situation.

“I’m happy it’s all been cleared and everything is over and I can get on with my cricket, which I managed to do today.”

Morgan also chose to credit Australian bowler Gurinder Sanndhu for his dismissal, rather than his would-be blackmailer.

“I don’t think it was easy coming in (at that stage)…the ball was reverse swinging right throughout the innings.

“Jos (Buttler) came in after me and found it difficult too. I nicked one; it happens.”

Published: Friday 23rd January 2015 by The News Editor

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