Stevens cleared of wrongdoing
2:37pm Wednesday 26th February 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens has been cleared by an International Cricket Council anti-corruption tribunal..
Stevens, 37, was one of nine men charged in relation to corruption in last year's Bangladesh Premier League.
He played for Dhaka Gladiators in the 2013 BPL and, although he was not among those accused of spot-fixing or match-fixing, he was charged with failing to report an illegal approach.
Stevens, who stressed his innocence in an official statement released in conjunction with the Federation of International Cricketers' Association last year, had been facing a potential ban of between one and five years and appeared before a three-man tribunal in Bangladesh earlier this month.
A brief statement on the Kent website read: "Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens has today been cleared of two charges of failing to report a corrupt approach."
Stevens welcomed the decision in a statement on Kent's official website, saying: "I would officially like to thank the tribunal for their verdict today and in particular their determination of non-guilty findings in charges brought against me by the Bangladesh Cricket Board.
"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.
"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 assalamu alaykum."
The ICC and BCB reacted to the not guilty verdicts with surprise, and indicated that an appeal could still be lodged.
"The ICC and the BCB have received the determination and are surprised and obviously disappointed with the outcome," an ICC statement read.
"Both organisations await the Tribunal's detailed written determination setting out the reasons for the outcome, which will be provided shortly, and will consider it carefully before determining the next steps, including whether to appeal any aspect(s) of the judgment.
"In the meantime, no further comment will be made by either the ICC or the BCB."
James Tredwell, Stevens' Kent captain last year and a long-time county team-mate, expressed his relief and delight that the all-rounder has been cleared.
"It's fantastic news," said Tredwell, currently on tour with England in the West Indies.
"'Stevo', when we all heard that news that he'd been charged, it was a real shock. He's one of the guys you would never think would ever do something like that.
"It's great news, great news for Kent, and for 'Stevo'. It's just brilliant really."
Stevens, 37, is a former England Lions player and began his 17-year first-class career to date with his native Leicestershire.
Tredwell added: "During the back-end of last year and the winter, and when we got back from Australia, he was training hard with the Kent boys and was trying to stay pretty positive - but obviously, it was a tough scenario to be in.
"I'm just really pleased for him, and I hope he can finish his career - what may be his last couple of years of pro cricket - really strongly."