'Stewart is absolutely clear' says MacLaurin

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The Independent Online

Alec Stewart has no case to answer over match-fixing allegations, according to the England and Wales Cricket Board chairman, Lord MacLaurin. The English game's most powerful administrator told Radio Five Live yesterday he is convinced Stewart is "absolutely clear" of involvement in the scandal that has rocked the sport in recent months.

Alec Stewart has no case to answer over match-fixing allegations, according to the England and Wales Cricket Board chairman, Lord MacLaurin. The English game's most powerful administrator told Radio Five Live yesterday he is convinced Stewart is "absolutely clear" of involvement in the scandal that has rocked the sport in recent months.

Stewart was named in an Indian government report on match-fixing earlier this month but denied allegations that he took money in exchange for information from a bookmaker.

MacLaurin is preparing to meet Sir Paul Condon, of the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit, but Stewart will not be on the agenda. "We'll talk about things in general. As far as I'm concerned, Alec Stewart is absolutely clear," Lord MacLaurin said. "I had a long conversation with him when it first arose some 10 days ago and I've said to Alec, 'You get on and do what you do best'. For the moment Stewart's case is absolutely closed."

The ICC's anti-corruption unit had a $4m (£2.8m) budget to investigate wrong-doing but the unit's powers will be limited. "In terms of criminality we have no power at all," the ICC's president, Malcolm Gray, said.

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