Tag Archives: chelmsford

FA Cup second round: Harrogate and Hastings one game away from Premier League payday

Old Trafford, Anfield and Stamford Bridge all await… but first minnows must get through FA Cup second round ties

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UPDATED:

14:49 GMT, 30 November 2012

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver is refusing to put pressure on his side as they prepare for their FA Cup second-round tie against Hastings.

A potentially mouth-watering match-up against a Premier League club awaits the Conference North team if they can beat fellow non-leaguers Hastings, who are the lowest-ranked team through to this stage of the competition.

'A lot of people have tried to put words in my mouth saying 'You should go through',' Weaver told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

One win from the big boys: The Chelmsford City players celebrate their win over Colchester and will face Crawley

One win from the big boys: The Chelmsford City players celebrate their win over Colchester and will face Crawley

'But we've gone to a new level here. The club's never been this far in the FA Cup and everything here on in should be treated as a bonus.

'Obviously, we'd be disappointed if we lost but we've still achieved something here.

'We should take heart and confidence into the game and enjoy the moment.

'Obviously, we know we'd enjoy it more if we win and that's what we're going out to achieve but there's no pressure.'

Sheffield United boss Danny Wilson believes his players should continue to express themselves on the pitch, even if it means they could miss out on crucial games through suspension.

Blades midfielder Kevin McDonald will miss Saturday's tie against npower League Two side Port Vale at Bramall Lane after he earned his fifth yellow card of the season against Brentford.

Looking for the cutting edge: Sheffield United boss Danny Wilson will hope his side can overcome Port Vale

Looking for the cutting edge: Sheffield United boss Danny Wilson will hope his side can overcome Port Vale

Wilson said: 'We never tell the players about the number of bookings they are currently on because we wouldn't want it to affect their displays.

'Sometimes you could tell a player not to do something, ie make a tackle, to avoid getting booked but ultimately you are in the hands of the referee and their interpretation.

'We want the lads to express themselves and play their natural games. We will deal with what happens in terms of suspensions.'

Sheffield United will also be without Mark Howard (thigh), Dave Kitson (hamstring) and Lecsinel Jean-Francois (knee) while Vale could hand a start to recent signing Calvin Andrew alongside Tom Pope in attack.

Preston take on Gillingham at Deepdale and captain John Mousinho is hoping to go on another decent cup run as he has done at some of his former clubs.

Mousinho told the Lancashire Evening Post: 'The FA Cup is a competition I like.
'Stevenage got to the fifth round last season and played Tottenham, taking them to a replay.

Fight on their hands: John Mousinho and his Preston side take on Kieran Richardson

Fight on their hands: John Mousinho and his Preston side take on Kieran Richardson

'The season before that I was in their side which beat Newcastle 3-1 – that was obviously a big occasion.

'When I was at Brentford they got to the fourth round. We beat Sunderland in the third round and then got Charlton, who were a Premier League side at the time.

'That season was the early part of my professional career and the FA Cup run certainly made an impression on me.'

Elsewhere, MK Dons host Wimbledon in what is set to be an emotionally-charged match while Lincoln face Mansfield, Accrington take on Oxford, Barrow host Macclesfield and Bury take on Southend.

League One's Carlisle play Bournemouth while Morecambe travel to Coventry and Chelmsford will be looking to get the better of Crawley.

Crewe will look to book their place in the third round with a win over Burton while Fleetwood play Aldershot, Luton host Dorchester, Oldham play Doncaster and Rotherham face Notts County.

The other games see Tranmere at home to Chesterfield and Alfreton host Leyton Orient.

FA Cup First Round: Macclesfield dump out Di Canio"s Swindon

FA Cup First Round: Macclesfield dump out Di Canio's Swindon

PUBLISHED:

18:01 GMT, 3 November 2012

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UPDATED:

18:02 GMT, 3 November 2012

Non-league Macclesfield pulled off the biggest shock in the first round of the FA Cup when they won 2-0 at League One high-flyers Swindon.

The Silkmen were not the only non-league side to beat Football League teams with Chelmsford, Hereford and Harrogate also moving into the second round at the expense of so-called superior opposition.

Silkmen strike: Macclesfield's Tony Diagne (left) scores his side's first goal

Silkmen strike: Macclesfield's Tony Diagne (left) scores his side's first goal

Macclesfield are sixth in the Blue
Square Bet Conference Premier and they took the lead in the 63rd minute
through a stunning long-range strike from Tony Diagne.

Things went from bad to worse for Paolo di Canio's Robins when moments later Aiden Flynn was sent off for the second
time in four games when he was given a straight red card for a challenge
on Macclesfield midfielder Sam Wedgebury.

The giant-killing over the team just outside the play-offs was sealed when Louis Thompson scored an own goal at the death.

Conference South team Chelmsford beat Colchester – 12th in League One – 3-1.

The hosts went ahead against their
local rivals when Anthony Cook fired home from distance in the 23rd
minute and they moved closer to an upset when Donovan Simmonds headed
into the net in the 63rd minute.

Pride of Essex: Chelmsford City players celebrate with the crowd following their 3-1 win over Colchester

Pride of Essex: Chelmsford City players celebrate with the crowd following their 3-1 win over Colchester

Colchester pulled one back seven
minutes later through Michael Rose's long-range free-kick but Jamie
Slabber sealed victory late on.

Torquay had an unbeaten home record
which had guided them to seventh in League Two but they went down 1-0 to
Harrogate Town. Chib Chilaka scored the only goal after 20 minutes to
send the Conference North side into the second round.

Hereford, 14th in the Conference
Premier, provided the first shock of the day when they dumped out League
One Shrewsbury 3-1 thanks to two goals by Ryan Bowman.

Will Evans gave the hosts a
third-minute lead, slotting Chris Todd's header into the bottom left of
the goal. Hereford doubled their lead nine minutes later through Ryan
Bowman's fierce shot.

Luke Summerfield's free-kick halved the deficit on the half-hour but Bowman's second, a penalty, wrapped up victory.

Lincoln, 19th in the Conference
Premier, were on the brink of an upset when they led League One Walsall
1-0 thanks to Jamie Taylor's strike in first-half injury time.

However, George Bowerman headed an equaliser three minutes from full time.

League Two Rotherham beat Stevenage,
fourth in League One, 3-2. Mark Bradley (30) fired the Millers ahead
with on-loan Lee Frecklington (53, 56) apparently putting the match out
of Stevenage's reach.

James Dunne pulled one back two
minutes later with Filipe Morais making it 3-2 with a little under 20
minutes remaining but the South Yorkshire side held on.

League Two Chesterfield hammered
League One basement side Hartlepool 6-1. Scott Boden (16), Mark Randall
(29) and Craig Clay (42) gave the Spireites a 3-0 half-time lead.

Terrell Forbes (54) made it four and
while Antony Sweeney pulled one back (78), Jack Lester (79) and Craig
Westcarr (90) rounded off a humiliation for the visitors.

Hendon, of the Isthmian League
Premier Division, threatened an upset when they went ahead at League Two
strugglers Aldershot, plumber Dean Cracknell firing an unstoppable
volley (28).

However, Danny Hylton levelled 13 minutes after the break before he powered home a late winner.

Sheffield United were the
highest-ranked team playing today but the team second in League One were
given a scare when David Clarkson took advantage of some slack Blades
defending to put Bristol Rovers ahead in the fifth minute.

However, Nick Blackman equalised
eight minutes after the break with an unstoppable shot across the keeper
and Chris Porter won the game nine minutes later.

Crawley won 2-1 at the Met Police.
Josh Simpson (36) and Billy Clarke (69) put the visitors 2-0 up and
although Alan Tait pulled one back (83), the Isthmian Premier League
side could not nick an equaliser.

League Two high-flyers Port Vale
survived a comeback at Forest Green when the Conference Premier Division
side hit back from two goals down to pull level at 2-2.

Ben Williamson restored the league side's lead against the run of play 10 minutes from time to give them a 3-2 victory.

League Two leaders Gillingham hammered League One strugglers Scunthorpe 4-0.

There were also wins for League One
sides Doncaster, Notts County, Bournemouth, Brentford, Carlisle, Oldham,
Crewe, Coventry, Preston and Bury.

Cheltenham, third in League Two, despatched Yate Town, the lowest-ranked team left in the competition, 3-0.

League Two trio Fleetwood, Oxford
and Accrington all made it through as did Hastings United and Alfreton
from all non-league ties.

There will be replays for York against Wimbledon, Morecambe v Rochdale and Northampton v Bradford.

Guiseley and Barrow will meet again as will Luton and Nuneaton and Mansfield v Slough in all non-league ties.

London 2012 Olympics: Flame extinguished as torch is carried on white water rafting boat

Olympic flame extinguished as torch is carried on white water rafting boat

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UPDATED:

21:16 GMT, 7 July 2012

With the benefit of hindsight, it's astounding that no one saw this coming. As the Olympic torch splashed through the canoe slalom venue in Hertfordshire today on board a raft as part of its journey around the country, spraying water splashed out the famed Eternal Flame.

Day 50 proved a tricky one for the torch relay, after a crash between two motorcycles earlier forced a delay and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s turn carrying the flame was marred by pouring rain.

In the first setback for the day, the torch convoy was held up for 20 minutes after two motorbike riders collided near Chelmsford, Essex, at around 7.40am, and had to be rushed to hospital with suspected broken bones.

Despite the bearer's best efforts, the torch could not survive the rapids at the Olympic canoe slalom venue

Ambitious: Despite bearer Zachary Franklin's best efforts, the torch could not survive the rapids at the Olympic canoe slalom venue

As the raft crashes through the rapids, the torch - held aloft by British junior team canoeist Zachary Franklin - can barely be seen through the spray

Rough: As the raft crashes through the rapids, the torch – held aloft by the British junior team canoeist – can barely be seen through the spray

Valiant effort: In a day of mishaps, the torch went out as the British men's canoe team carried it down the rapids

Valiant effort: The eternal flame can be temperamental – going out on just day three of the relay, and again during the canoe course

Ambulances and a fire engine were called, and convoy doctors treated the
male and female riders at the scene before the relay was able to proceed.

Later, the torch arrived at Lee Valley White Water Centre near Waltham
Cross, the canoe slalom venue, where it suffered the further hiccup.

Despite the best efforts of British junior team canoeist Zachary
Franklin, who held the flame aloft as the British men’s rafting team
propelled him through the rapids, water splashing into the boat extinguished the flame.

Take two: The Olympic flame stayed alight on its second attempt down the river

Take two: The Olympic flame stayed alight on its second attempt down the river

Wet: The flame appeared to go briefly while it was being transported on the raft at the Lee Valley White Water Centre

Wet: Water splashing into the boat caused the flame to go out – but a LOCOG spokesman said a master flame was on hand for such incidents

‘It is not uncommon for a flame to go out and this can happen for a number of reasons,’ a LOCOG spokesman said.

‘In this instance it was due to water being splashed into the boat from the slalom course.

‘It was relit from the mother flame, which is kept in a specially
designed miners’ lantern and successfully taken down the course on the
second attempt.’

Rainy: Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver braved the wet weather on his torch run near his family's pub in Essex

Rainy: Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver braved the wet weather on his torch run near his family's pub in Essex

It isn’t the first time the Olympic flame has gone out as it makes its way through the UK.

Back on May 21, just three days into the relay, the flame on a torch
attached to para-badminton star David Follett's wheelchair burned out
while in Devon.

In another early hitch to proceedings, the flame was blown out by a gust
of wind as it was being lit for the first time in Greece. It had to be
relit before being handed to a torchbearer.

Today the relay was travelling from Chelmsford to Cambridge, en route to London for the Olympic opening ceremony.

Jamie Oliver had his own issues during his stint through Newport, the Essex village where he went
to school, braving wet and
wild weather as he ran.

Supporters: Stilt walkers cheer on the Olympic flame as it passes through Chelmsford

Spectators wearing patriotic Union Flag and St George's Cross glasses

Spirited: Spectators on stilts with Union Jack flag glasses, and men with patriotic glasses, enjoy the Olympic torch relay

The 37-year-old health eating champion kept smiling despite the tough going.

Watched by his wife Jools and family, a bedraggled-looking Oliver said: ‘I can't believe how much
it's raining but it's great to be here in my old town and this is a
real privilege.

‘I'll run past my old school and finish at the pub where, to be honest, I'd like to be right now.’

Oliver lives in nearby Clavering with his wife Jules, daughters Poppy,
Daisy and Petal, and son Buddy, while his parents own a pub and
restaurant nearby.

In its final stop for the day at Cambridge, the flame was again due to
take to the water, but this time at a more sedate pace on a punt ride.

Brave face: Jamie Oliver kept smiling through the wet weather - despite confessing that he would rather be in the pub

Brave face: Jamie Oliver kept smiling through the wet weather - despite confessing that he would rather be in the pub

Brave face: Jamie Oliver kept smiling through the wet weather – despite confessing that he would rather be in the pub

Jools with daughter Daisy

A wet looking Jamie Oliver takes the torch

Supportive: Wife Jools Oliver, looking a little worse for wear in the wet weather, and daughter Daisy turned out to watch Jamie as he carried the Olympic torch

England Women beat India 2-0 in Twenty20 series

Taylor leads England Women to Twenty20 series win over India

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UPDATED:

21:43 GMT, 28 June 2012

England completed a comfortable 2-0 series win over India following an eight-wicket victory in the second NatWest Women's Twenty20 at Chelmsford.

Sarah Taylor again led the way as an unbeaten 67, from 48 balls, ensured England reeled in India's 114 all out with 17 balls unused.

India's hopes of posting a competitive total were undone by five run outs and a collapse that saw them lose their final seven wickets for 25 runs.

Important knock: Sarah Taylor helped England on their way to victory

Important knock: Sarah Taylor helped England on their way to victory

Harmanpreet Kaur had laid the platform for a bigger score with 34 off 38 balls but when she was bowled by Katherine Brunt (three for 18) the tourists' batting fell apart.

England lost skipper Charlotte Edwards and Laura Marsh, unluckily run out backing up, to be 32 for two but from there Taylor took over.

That is out: Taylor removes the bails to run out Sulakshana Naik of India

That is out: Taylor removes the bails to run out Sulakshana Naik of India

The 23-year-old, whose 69 set up victory in the opener, found the rope nine times in an unbeaten 85-run stand with Lydia Greenway (30 not out).

Both teams will now prepare for a five-match one-day international series which begins at Lord's on Sunday.

Australia wallop Essex by 179 runs

Food for thought for Cook as Clarke and Hussey help Australia wallop Essex

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UPDATED:

22:52 GMT, 26 June 2012

England's one-day international captain Alastair Cook was given plenty to think about at Chelmsford after Australia warmed up for their NatWest Series with a thumping 179-run win over Essex.

Australia captain Michael Clarke and David Hussey both made unbeaten half-centuries as Australia notched up 313 for nine.

Essex, with England duo Cook and Bopara in their ranks, were well off the pace in their reply and were all out for 134 in 32.4 overs, with Pat Cummins taking an impressive three for 26.

On the defensive: Alastair Cook reached just five

On the defensive: Alastair Cook reached just five

Cook's hopes of having a good look at Australia's bowling attack were ruined by Clint McKay in the fourth over of the Essex innings.

After an imperious shot to the cover boundary from the second delivery, he was despatched with the sixth as an intended drive was edged to Michael Clarke at first slip.

Cook's contribution was five from 15 deliveries and his removal from the scene more or less ended the county's hopes of maintaining a serious challenge.

Bopara, also set to turn out in the first encounter at Lord's, fared better and struck six fours until dabbing an easy catch behind off Shane Watson.

James Foster defied Australia for 36 balls while making 41 containing six fours but the 19-year-old Cummins was to have him caught by Stephen Smith at backward point, with the rest of the Essex line-up folding meekly.

Having won the toss and elected to bat, Australia's major batsmen all managed to get among the runs before Friday's duel against the old enemy.

Watson and David Warner produced an opening stand of 51 in just under seven overs before they departed for 33 and 26 respectively.

Warner drilled Graham Napier to Ryan ten Doeschate at midwicket while Watson was the first of Reece Topley's four victims when he was caught behind.

But it was skipper Clarke and Hussey who provided the backbone of the innings without looking in the slightest trouble.

On the lash: Michael Clarke reached 76 before retiring

On the lash: Michael Clarke reached 76 before retiring

Eschewing any risks, they found the gaps with ease while putting together a partnership of 137 in 20 overs.

That ended only when Clarke, having struck 76 in 73 balls with the aid of nine fours, decided to retire out to give others a taste of action out in the middle.

Hussey's innings of 67 from 66 deliveries, six of which he hit for fours, ended when he despatched left-arm spinner Tim Phillips to Bopara at deep cover, a dismissal that paved the way for Matthew Wade to inflict further punishment on Essex's toiling bowlers.

He helped himself to 47 from 43 balls, Napier finally bringing his innings to an end when Foster took a huge skier running towards square-leg.

Topley, the young left-arm pacemen, picked up four for 46 from eight overs to emerge as Essex's most successful bowler while Napier and Phillips each claimed two wickets.

Ravi Bopara enjoys excellent return from injury for Essex

Bopara confirms return from injury with superb display for Essex

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UPDATED:

18:52 GMT, 4 June 2012

Ravi Bopara confirmed his recovery from a leg injury and sent a nudge to the England selectors with a brilliant 120 not out for Essex.

His side easily reached their target of 225 to beat Gloucestershire by eight wickets in their CB40 match at Chelmsford and claim their first Clydesdale Bank 40 Group A victory of the season.

Bopara was due to bat at six for England before his injury but was replaced by debutant Jonny Bairstow, who has looked uncomfortable against the West Indies.

Return: Ravi Bopara scored 120 not out on his comeback

Return: Ravi Bopara scored 120 not out on his comeback

The leg problem ruled him out for three weeks but from the moment he walked out to open the innings, he took charge with a succession of superbly timed drives and with Tom Westley striking the ball equally well at the other end, it soon became clear that Gloucestershire's total of 224 for five was not nearly enough.

The pair had come together after Mark Pettini's departure in the first over, when he was caught at slip off Ian Saxelby without a run on the board, and went on to put together a partnership of 185.

That was broken when Westley's enterprising knock of 82 from 99 balls, nine of which he dispatched to the boundary, ended as he was stumped off Will Gidman.

But Bopara, who raised his 50 with a straight driven six against left-arm spinner Ed Young, went on to complete his century from 91 deliveries, with two sixes and eight fours, and he was to add another four boundaries as Essex secured victory with 19 balls to spare.

Shaky: Jonny Bairstow has struggled in Bopara's stead

Shaky: Jonny Bairstow has struggled in Bopara's stead

Like Essex, the visitors had also seen their openers separated in the first over when Graham Napier breached the defences of Will Gidman, a dismissal that was to put them firmly on the back foot.

It was not until the 14th over that the 50 was raised, before which Hamish Marshall was beaten for pace and bowled by Tymal Mills.

So pedestrian was Gloucestershire's progress that they needed 27 overs to send the total into three figures. But then Kane Williamson and Ian Cockbain were to inject much-needed life into the innings with a fifth-wicket partnership of 85 in 11 overs.

It ended when Williamson was caught behind by James Foster off David Masters for 77, which came from 73 deliveries and contained seven fours and a six.

Cockbain and Jack Taylor maintained the tempo over the remaining four overs, Cockbain finishing unbeaten on 52 from 44 balls with a six among his four boundaries.

Taylor's unbeaten 22 came off a dozen deliveries and ensured a respectable if not demanding total.

Mervyn Westfield loses appeal against match-fixing

Shamed Westfield and agent Majeed lose appeals against match-fixing

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UPDATED:

11:21 GMT, 31 May 2012

Former Essex player Mervyn Westfield – the first county cricketer in England to be prosecuted for spot-fixing – and agent Mazhar Majeed have lost their Court of Appeal challenges against match-fixing convictions.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge and two other judges in London, who had been urged to overturn their convictions, rejected their appeals.

Dismissing the challenges, Lord Judge stressed that for the health and survival of cricket as a truly competitive sport corruption 'must be eradicated'.

Verdict: Westfield and Majeed have lost their Court of Appeal challenges

Verdict: Westfield and Majeed have lost their Court of Appeal challenges

Both appeals were heard together on May 24 as they raised the same point of law.

The men pleaded guilty following pre-trial argument and rulings, but their conviction challenges centred on the correct interpretation of gambling and betting legislation.

Majeed was sentenced in November to two years and eight months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to make corrupt payments.

Westfield, now 24, from Chelmsford, Essex, was sentenced to four months in prison at the Old Bailey in February and has since been released.

He pleaded guilty to one count of accepting or obtaining a corrupt payment to bowl in a way that would allow the scoring of runs.

He was accused of being paid 6,000 to bowl so that a specific number of runs would be chalked up in the first over of a match between Durham and Essex in September 2009.

As well as the jail sentence, Westfield was the subject of a confiscation order for 6,000. In the case involving Majeed, three Pakistan cricketers also received custodial sentences at London's Southwark Crown Court over a scandal that rocked world sport.

Ex-Test captain Salman Butt was jailed for two-and–half years for his role as the 'orchestrator' of a plot to bowl deliberate no-balls in the 2010 Lord's Test against England.

Mohammad Asif, the former world No 2 Test bowler, was sentenced to 12 months.

Mohammad Amir, who had been tipped to become one of the all-time great fast bowlers, was sentenced to six months.

All three players are serving five-year bans from cricket imposed by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Amir and Butt failed in an attempt to have their sentences reduced at the Court of Appeal in November.

Lord Judge said: 'These otherwise unconnected appeals against conviction arise in the same notorious context, “spot fixing” in cricket matches.

'For cricket betting is not new. It has, however, become multi-faceted.

'Nowadays it is possible to place bets not only on the final outcome of a match, but on particular passages of play, such as how many runs will be scored or wickets taken in an over, or indeed on individual events during the course of an over or passage of play.

'Cricket is widely televised, not only in the country where the match is being played, but throughout the cricket-playing world, and indeed further afield.

'The prizes for successful gambling can be very great, and the scope for corruption is therefore considerable.

'For the health, indeed the survival, of the game as a truly competitive sport, it must be eradicated.'

Following rulings by the trial judges on issues of law relating to the offences alleged against them, both appellants pleaded guilty.

The appellants, he said, contended that the rulings were wrong – if they had won their appeals, the judges would have then ordered retrials.

Lord Judge ruled: 'The respective offences of conspiracy against Majeed and cheating against Westfield were properly prosecuted.'

The rulings on the law by the judges in the two trials 'were right and these appeals against conviction are dismissed'.

Jimmy Greaves fit after suffering stroke

I'm as fit as ever, claims Greaves after England legend suffers stroke

Former England footballer Jimmy Greaves has made a full recovery after suffering a stroke.

The 72-year-old former Tottenham star spent two nights in hospital and underwent neck surgery after falling ill at his home in Chelmsford, Essex. He has since been discharged and says he is feeling as fit as ever.

'I had a mini-stroke but just weeks later I'm honestly feeling better than I have in years – I'm as fit as a butcher's dog,' Greaves told The People.

On the mend: Jimmy Greaves insists he's fighting fit after suffering a stroke

On the mend: Jimmy Greaves insists he's fighting fit after suffering a stroke

Doctors at Chelmsford's Broomfield Hospital discovered the football columnist, who is England's third-greatest scorer with 44 goals, had suffered a transient ischaemic attack.

They performed a successful operation on an artery in his neck before giving him the all-clear.

Star turn: Greaves (left) scored more than 200 goals for Tottenham

Star turn: Greaves (left) scored more than 200 goals for Tottenham

Greaves added: 'I'm out and about, enjoying life to the full. I lost a stone, which I needed to do and it's made me feel a lot younger.

'If anyone complains about the NHS, don't believe a word of it. The people who looked after me couldn't have been any more professional or caring.'

Mervyn Westfield: ECB demand player amnesty for corruption information

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

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

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
played properly.'

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

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.'