Players given amnesty following Westfield case
English cricketers were last night granted a three-month amnesty to report corruption in the game. The offer was made by the England and Wales Cricket Board after the former Essex bowler Mervyn Westfield pleaded guilty to accepting a bribe to bowl badly during a match in 2009. Westfield faces a prison term when he is sentenced next month.
In a last-minute change of plea, he admitted at the Old Bailey yesterday to receiving corrupt payments for an over he bowled in a Pro40 match against Durham at Chester-le-Street. The match was played in September 2009. Since Westfield was first accused in 2010, he had steadfastly denied any wrongdoing. The ECB, anxious to ensure that match-rigging is not widespread in the domestic game, acted hours after the hearing. Players and officials are to be offered a window until 30 April to report approaches or information related to corrupt activities.
"Information is critical in addressing the threat posed by corruption in sport," Chris Watts, who has run the ECB's anti-corruption commission since last November, said. "The decision of the board to provide a window for retrospective reporting of alleged approaches will assist in compiling a more complete picture of the source and focus of approaches which may have taken place in the past." MORE
Van der Vaart: We can win the league
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Tevez keen to revive Milan deal
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Panesar bowls way into contention
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PCA: Game must repel corruption
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Chelsea making Cahill 'progress'
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Barry: City should ignore title rivals
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Newcastle appoint Gold and Ford
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Lendl 'will be good for Murray'
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Speed deputies to get game in charge
Wales are set to entrust the late Gary Speed's back-room staff of Raymond Verheijen and Osian Roberts with charge of the team for next month's memorial match with Costa Rica, in keeping with Aaron Ramsey's wishes. MORE
Opinion: Angus Fraser
If Mervyn Westfield's sentence is custodial, sizeable shockwaves will reverberate through county cricket, as with last year when three Pakistan cricketers were jailed. That ruling made everyone take a step back. MOREReuse content