Westfield pleads guilty to spot-fixing
Mervyn Westfield, 23, has pleaded guilty to charges of corruption after admitting today that he had received £6,000 ($92,000) to concede 12 runs in a Pro40 match between Durnham and Essex in September 2009.
This makes Westfield the first English cricketer to receive such conviction.
Westfield’s sentence will be handed out on 10 February. Judge Anthony Morris presided over the case at the Old Bailey.
The source of the funds paid to Westfield has still not been established, but the prosecution and the police already have a suspect, whom Judge Morris describes as “a man who is known to me and many people interested in cricket”.
Westfield’s arrest came in May 2010, after he reportedly showed the money he received for spot-fixing to his former teammate Tony Palladino, who then voiced concerns about the game with their coach, Paul Grayson, and team captain Mark Pettini.
Westfield’s conviction deals another blow to the integrity of cricket, which has already suffered hugely three months ago, after three Pakistani Test players were also convicted of charges similar to Westfield’s.
As part of efforts to restore credibility to cricket, the Wales and England Cricket Board last night announced an offer to grant three-month amnesty for all officials and player who come forward with evidence of approaches from fixers.
This action comes on top of existing rules of the England Cricket Board, which considers it an offence for a player or official to fail to report such events when they occur.