Board 'mucking about' says Lewis

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He was meant to be getting a load off his chest, but Chris Lewis was not feeling a whole lot better the day after his meeting with the England and Wales Cricket Board. Whether it was the strain of waiting for the ECB to release their statement on the matter, or just the fatigue of driving to Headingley for Leicestershire's Benson and Hedges match against Yorkshire, the all-rounder was not where he should have been - playing cricket.

Unavailable on the field - the official reason given was that Leicestershire felt it in the best interests of the club and player that he did not play - Lewis played plenty of shots off it, starting with a swipe at the ECB in an interview put out on Radio 5 Live.

"It was billed as some sort of disciplinary meeting but it was nothing of the sort," said Lewis. "I was asked for new information, but I told them there wasn't any from when I first spoke to them last September.

"I had already told them about it seven months ago," he added. "Then, the Board wasn't interested in those names. But from the outset the police were aware of those names and they were lodged."

It was the reappearance of the story in a Sunday tabloid, following "Cronjegate" that appears to have caused the confusion. "I've no idea why the Board called me in. I held nothing back when I spoke to them last year and nothing has changed since then.

"Of course I'm angry. To a large extent my name is dirt because it is perceived that I'm mucking about with something that is very important. If anything, the Board are the ones mucking about.

"At the moment it feels like I'm sinking and I won't have it. And it seems like the Board are almost encouraging it - they are doing nothing to help.

"They've been sitting on the information for months and should have issued a statement at the time. I've never suspected England players of match-fixing, but I did my duty and told the Board about what I had heard."

If Lewis has not brought the game into disrepute over the last few days, he has probably come extremely close to it. True to form, the ECB countered with a statement of their own that set new standards in blandness.

"The ECB is aware of certain allegations made by Chris Lewis on Radio 5 Live today and has called for a full transcript of the interview as a matter of urgency. We will study his comments carefully and have no further comment to make at this stage." This is obviously crisis-solving at its best.

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