ECB chairman Clarke will have to answer libel charges

By Paul Newman for the Daily Mail

England may be racing towards the top of the world rankings but off the pitch a storm is brewing for the ECB.    

The heat was turned up on ECB chairman Giles Clarke on Wednesday when the lawyers representing sports management giants IMG insisted that they will press ahead with the libel case they have brought against him along with former Indian Premier League supremo Lalit Modi.

Relaxed: Clarke unfazed by potential libel action

Relaxed: Clarke unfazed by potential libel action

Both Clarke and IMG claimed victory last week in a case which has already seen costs of £1million being accrued by each side following a Court of Appeal ruling.     

Yet Schillings, the heavyweight law firm representing IMG in the dispute, accused Clarke of lying and insisted they will see him in court.

The case centres on an email Clarke sent last year to Shashank Manohar, president of the Indian board, in which he expressed grave concerns about a meeting Manohar had with English county officials about the possibility of a 'breakaway' Twenty20 league.

The email was leaked to the Indian media and quickly became widely circulated.       

'There remain very serious charges for Mr Clarke to answer at trial,' said a Schillings statement in answer to Clarke's triumphant victory claim made on the ECB website on Friday.

'Both on the false statements he made on May 2 2010, again on his backdated letter on May 8 2011 and on his original defence which he swore was true and then subsequently changed on being challenged as to its truthfulness.      

'These cases have not gone away and will not go away unless and until Mr Clarke agrees to apologise on terms acceptable to IMG for his false statements or a court finds against him.'       

Clarke, who somehow managed to survive the Stanford affair while leading the ECB, is on holiday but is privately said to be relaxed about the development.

An ECB spokesman refused to comment on Wednesday's move by IMG.

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