Ashes 2015: Chris Rogers sorry for Lord's ticket row - but denies any wrongdoing over trying to sell hospitality packages

Australian opener says lessons have been learnt

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Australia opener Chris Rogers admits he has learned a lesson from trying to sell hospitality packages for the Lord's Ashes Test, but denies any wrongdoing and is determined to swiftly put the controversy behind him.

Inside Edge Experience, run by Rogers and his former Middlesex colleague Tom Scollay, was reportedly offering what it described as "a unique and exclusive opportunity to attend the sold-out second Ashes Test".

The advertising for the package had disappeared from the company's LinkedIn page on Wednesday morning, while its Facebook page could not be found and its website brought up a page reading "Inside Edge Experience is currently under development".

Middlesex have withdrawn the tickets allocated to Inside Edge, while Cricket Australia said they were "satisfied all concerned set out with good intentions" over the "misunderstanding in the way they went about getting hold of the tickets."

Rogers maintains he acted in good faith and could go into the Ashes with a clear conscience.

Speaking at the Spitfire Ground in Kent ahead of Thursday's tour match, he said: "I went about it what I thought was the right way, it turned out it probably wasn't.

"I have probably learned my lesson, but there was no intent to deceive or anything like that.

"I look back at it a bit disappointed about how things turned out, but thought I was open and honest with everything I did."

Rogers contined: "(Naive) is the word which has come up a bit, but it is funny because everybody I spoke to and told them what I was doing, no-one suggested I do it any other way, so I did not realise I was supposed to go through the ECB. I went through Middlesex, who are the people I know.

"I did not think I was doing anything wrong.

"In hindsight, I found out I probably should have gone a different way and there was no intent to do anything other than set up a very small company and provide an experience of London which I have been lucky enough to spend some time in."

Rogers intends to quickly move on.

He added: "It has been frustrating, and was something I was looking to hopefully develop after cricket, which is coming very soon.

"It has been a bit of a distraction, but the cricket starts tomorrow and I am pretty good at just getting on with it, so I am not too worried."

Rogers is set to retire after the end of the Ashes series.

The 37-year-old spent a large part of his career in England, with spells at Derbyshire as well as Middlesex, where he was captain in the LV= County Championship side.

Middlesex chief executive Vinny Codrington issued a strongly-worded statement against the "enthusiasm and naivety" involved on both sides.

Rogers insists the county were kept up to date all along.

He said: "I have a fantastic relationship with Middlesex, and I think there has been a bit of a misunderstanding. I was open and honest with them from the very beginning.

"If there has been a little bit of miscommunication among them, then that is for them to work out, but from the very early e-mails I told them what I was doing, and they suggested this was the way to go about it, so it is not something I want to get into.

"Middlesex have been amazing to me, and hopefully I can continue that relationship."

Rogers added: "The people have been refunded, no money has been exchanged with Middlesex, so hopefully no harm has been done."

Rogers has scored three Ashes hundreds, but was forced to miss the recent two Tests in the West Indies because of concussion after being struck on the head while in the nets.

After scoring 70 in a warm-up match on the Isle of Wight, Rogers is determined to use the next four-day tour games in Kent and Essex to force his way back into the opening partnership with David Warner for the first Ashes Test in Cardiff from July 8.

"I can't wait to get out there, with the concussion and now this (tickets issue), it is not how I saw my last tour," he said.

"I just want to play and this is something fantastic to be part of. I am going to enjoy it."

Rogers is expected to open the batting at the Spitfire Ground alongside Shaun Marsh, the man who deputised for him in the Caribbean.

"I know he is a fantastic player and was asked to do a job (in the West Indies), which he did," said Rogers.

"That is the great thing about our squad, we have a lot of depth and blokes with confidence, which is different to the last time we were here, so I think we are in a pretty good place.

"It is going to be tough, but I have to earn my place back."