Dublin born England cricket captain at centre of international £35,000 blackmail storm

Eoin Morgan threatened hours before England faced Australia in the Tri-Series

England's Eoin Morgan

Dublin born cricket star Eoin Morgan has been blackmailed for tens of thousands of pounds by an Australian man threatening to expose embarrassing details about a former relationship, it has been reported.

According to the Evening Standard, an individual demanded £35,000 to be delivered “before the first ball” of England’s one day international against Australia on Friday.

Details of the bizarre threat, which relates to a brief relationship Morgan had with a single woman in Australia five years ago, were revealed by the England and Wales Cricket Board amid fears it could disrupt the Tri-Series match.

The ECB informed UK police of the alleged blackmail, and the threat was traced within 24 hours to a suspect in Hobart, Australia – believed to be the current boyfriend of the Australian woman.

Paul Downton, the managing director of the ECB, told the Standard that the threat had involved the release of embarrassing details “including videos” which he claimed the suspect found on the Australian woman’s old phone.

“We contacted the Metropolitan Police and a brief investigation tracked down this individual,” Mr Downton said. “He has now apologised saying it was not intended to go this far.”

He added: “It was brief relationship five years ago and what appears to be a fairly deliberate attempt to extort a sum of money from the ECB. We will not allow anyone to distract the players or the England captain.”

Morgan met his current long-term girlfriend Tara Ridgway, a law and PR student at Bond University in Australia, a little over four years ago in November 2010, according to a Twitter post in which Ms Ridgway added “#luckiestgirlintheworld”.

According to the Standard, the woman with whom Morgan had the relationship was not involved in the blackmail and responded “angrily” to the news.