A new anti-corruption team has been set up to monitor domestic limited-overs matches in England and Wales. Members of the seven-strong unit, who have investigative experience, will attend games from the middle of this month until August, covering the Twenty20 and the last rounds in the group stages of the 40-over competition.
The announcement came on the day that Mervyn Westfield's appeal against his conviction for spot-fixing failed. Earlier this year Westfield became the first county cricketer in England to be prosecuted for fixing for his actions in a 40-over match between Essex and Durham. The game was shown live in the Middle East and India, where much of the illegal bookmaking that threatens the sport is based. With international games now heavily policed, such matches are seen as attractive targets for the fixers, as the England and Wales Cricket Board is well aware.
"They will be a visible presence at matches and act as a constant reminder to players, officials and club personnel of the need for constant vigilance," said David Collier, the ECB's chief executive.