Cricket official in abortion row apology

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The Independent Online
THE ENGLAND cricket official at the centre of this week's industrial tribunal abortion row, apologised yesterday for his part in the controversy.

Nick Marriner's apology followed a tribunal ruling that former Lord's receptionist Theresa Harrild, with whom he had a brief affair, was the victim of sex discrimination. Ms Harrild claimed Mr Marriner bullied her into having an abortion, complaining that he was too young to be a father.

Mr Marriner, 25, returned to work yesterday at Lord's Cricket Ground, where he has been employed for over two years as a development executive for the England and Wales Cricket Board. In a brief statement he said: "I am deeply sorry for the part that I played in this unfortunate episode. I would like to make it absolutely clear that it was me that paid for Theresa Harrild's abortion and not the ECB.

"I have worked with cricket for two-and-a-half years and I thoroughly enjoy my job assisting with the development of the game. I now want to put all this behind me."

The tribunal was told that Mr Marriner refused to discuss the pregnancy with his former-girlfriend and asked Sarah Bladon, marketing secretary with the ECB, to persuade her to have a termination. Ms Harrild says she was handed pounds 400 in a brown envelope and told to abort the child - which she wanted to keep.

On Wednesday, Ms Harrild, 32, won a claim for sexual discrimination after a panel at the central London tribunal accepted that she had been pressured into having an abortion and was unlawfully dismissed.

The England and Wales Cricket Board could now be ordered to pay her pounds 10,000 compensation. Tim Lamb, the board's chief executive, has maintained that the board acted sympathetically to Ms Harrild's personal position and said many of the allegations made against it had been "hurtful".

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