ECB demand player amnesty for information on corruption in bid to eradicate spot-fixing
The England and Wales Cricket Board have called an amnesty for information on corruption in the game after former Essex player Mervyn Westfield pleaded guilty to spot-fixing.
Westfield, 23, admitted taking 6,000 to concede a set number of runs in a match between Durham and Essex in September 2009, although only 10 of the agreed 12 were scored.
In response the ECB have launched a 'reporting window' to allow players and officials to give information on past approaches without fear of punishment.
Shamed: Westfield admitted taking cash to concede a fixed amount of runs
It is against ECB regulations not to report alleged corruption in the game.
The ECB's anti-corruption chief Chris Watts said: “Information is critical in addressing the threat posed by corruption in sport.
'Individuals may not have thought these approaches were worthy of reporting at the time and prior to the decision of the board may have been concerned that the fact that they did not report such activity may have put them at risk of disciplinary action.'
Westfield will be sentenced on February 10, and Judge Anthony Morris warned him: 'I hold out no promises to you as to the eventual outcome of this case.
'It's open to the court in this case to pass an immediate custodial sentence.'
Game over: Westfield's cricket career has been ruined
The former Essex player, of Chelmsford, Essex, currently remains on bail.
Angus Porter, chief executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association, welcomed Westfield's decision to enter a guilty plea.
'The fact that he has admitted to the crime can only act as a signal to others that sport needs to be treated with respect and played properly, at any level,' Porter said.
'Our view on it is that the world has
moved on quite a long way since he committed those offences. We've
invested a huge amount in educating players as to their
responsibilities, but I think that none of us can be complacent. I think
that we are all very mindful of the need to make sure that sport is
The issue has become a major concern
throughout the cricketing world since Pakistan trio Salman Butt,
Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court
in November for a plan to bowl deliberate no-balls in the Lord's Test
against England in summer 2010.
International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat has pledged to support any country's bid to eradicate cheating and spot-fixing from the game.
Speaking in Perth, Lorgat said: 'In the past year we faced the sort of challenge which could threaten any sport and I believe we conclusively proved that we will not tolerate any threat to the integrity of the game.
Jailed: Pakistan trio Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt are serving sentences for spot-fixing
'I hope our swift and decisive action to charge, provisionally suspend and eventually prosecute and ban those who dared to sully the good name of cricket as well as the subsequent criminal prosecution will serve as a deterrent in future.
'Sports governing bodies need state assistance to tackle this worldwide menace and in turn we will support any government that legislates to protect sport against cheating.
'Needless to say we will continue to use everything within our power to ensure that any threat of corrupt activity within the game of cricket is resolutely dealt with.'