Bullish Kent star Darren Stevens defended his own integrity after being cleared of corruption charges in Bangladesh on Wednesday lunchtime.
The charges – which could have ended his professional career as they carry a global ban of one to five years – stemmed from a match between Stevens’ team, the eventual champions Dhaka Gladiators and the Chittagong Kings on February 2, 2013.
With two of Dhaka’s senior players out injured, it is understood Stevens was asked by one of the franchise’s owners to fulfil the role of off-field captain for the day and also carry out the coin toss but not to skipper the team on the field during the game.
Stevens turned down the captaincy role, which was eventually taken by Bangladesh star Mohammad Ashraful, who later admitted to fixing the game, during which he ran out Stevens while at the crease.
Speaking after his aquittal, the Spitfires talisman revealed: "I would officially like to thank the tribunal for their verdict and in particular their determination of non guilty of findings in charges brought against me by the Bangladesh Cricket Board."
The charges were originally levelled in August, while Stevens jetted out to Bangladesh last month to contest the charges.
He said: "This has been a long journey and I would like to express my gratitude to my partner Katie, my family, friends, Kent County Cricket Club, my fellow peers, legal team and all those who have supported me."
He added: "I can assure all of the fans of the Dhaka Gladiators, the people of Bangladesh and all cricket followers, that I have always played the game of cricket honestly, with integrity and to the best of my ability.
"I have loved playing cricket in Bangladesh, as well as everywhere else in the world and I hope that I will be allowed to continue to play cricket globally.
"Thank you for all your support and assalamualaykumi."
Meanwhile Kent chief Executive Jamie Clifford said: "I speak for all at Kent when I say that I am delighted for Darren that this verdict was reached.
"I know this has been a very stressful time for him and his family and I am sure he will be hugely relieved that this cloud has been lifted.
"All Kent Supporters’ will wish him well of course and we all look forward to his return to Kent colours at the start of the 2014 season”.