There's more to come… Westfield whistleblower claims county cricket corruption runs deeper than one case
Whistleblower: Tony Palladino while playing for Essex
The whistleblower who reported team-mate Mervyn Westfield for spot-fixing claims corruption in English county cricket runs deeper than one particular incident.
Tony Palladino believes other county cricketers are involved with betting scams organised in Asia and it will lead youngsters to wreck their careers.
The 28-year-old was playing for Essex when his then team-mate, Westfield, accepted a 6,000 bung for letting Durham score 12 runs off his first over during a game in 2009.
'You’d be a fool to think spot-betting wasn’t happening at Essex before, and at other counties. It must have been,' Palladino told The Sun.
'They’ve chosen county cricket because it’s not as high profile as international cricket.
'What worries me is there might be other cases that have been swept under the carpet. I’ve spoken to international players who’ve been approached several times in Asia. It’s rife out there.'
Westfield, 23, faces up to seven years in jail after pleading guilty, but Palladino does not think he is only one involved with betting scams.
He added: 'I strongly believe another county player was into spot-betting too. He knows who he is.'
Palladino continued: 'The guys most at risk are in Merv’s situation — young, in the first team, but not earning much money.
Waste: Palladino says Mervyn Westfield wasted his career
'Merv could have gone on to play for England but he made a bad decision and for 6,000 he’s lost his career. It’s such a waste.'
Palladino, worried he would end up being dragged into the messy affair, decided to speak out against Westfield after discovering other team-mates knew what he was doing.
He told the team captain Mark Pettini and the police got involved, but Westfield insisted that he was not spot-fixing.
Palladino suffered from claims that he was falsely accusing a team-mate to make it easier to cement his position.
The fast bowler said: 'There were whispers I was trying to get rid of a bowler to make it easier for myself in the team.'
This must have had an impact on Palladino, as his form dropped off and he eventually left Essex for Derbyshire in December 2010.
Westfield will be sentenced next month – he is the first English cricketer convicted of spot-fixing.