Allegations did affect me: Stewart

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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London: Former England captain Alec Stewart has conceded that a bookmaker's statement accusing him of taking money in exchange for information affected his form during the recent tour of Pakistan. "It was the hardest tour I've been on," Stewart said. "The cricket is tough enough as it is but when you've got other things on your mind it makes it doubly difficult." An Indian Central Bureau of Investigation report last November quoted an Indian bookmaker as saying Stewart had taken $5,000 in return for pitch, weather and team information. Stewart, who has denied the allegations, was interviewed by the head of the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit Paul Condon last week. "I'm not allowed to disclose what was discussed but it was a pleasant enough chat," he said. "I've told him that I will co-operate fully but I hope that it will not be necessary to seek him again. We will have to wait and see." Stewart, 37, kept wicket competently in the 1-0 series win but was below his best form with the bat, scoring only 104 runs in the three Tests. "I never make excuses but obviously I didn't produce the runs that my record says I am capable of," he said. Stewart also said he had made no final decision about retiring after this season's Ashes series against Australia. "It is true that for the last couple of years I have said that my aim has been to play in the Ashes series this summer," he said. "That has not changed but I have definitely not made myself unavailable for anything. I will reassess things later in the summer." England leave for a three-Test tour of Sri Lanka on January 30(c) Reuters Limited. Click here for Restrictions

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