LONDON: An English county cricketer pleaded guilty to a corruption charge linked to his bowling in a 40-over one-day game.
Mervyn Westfield, 23, who played for Essex, admitted accepting or obtaining a corrupt payment to bowl in a way that would allow the scoring of runs, during a hearing at the Old Bailey in London. The court heard that he had agreed to bowl his first over in a way that would let Durham score a set number of runs in the game in September 2009.
Westfield will be sentenced on February 10 and was warned he will face a jail sentence.
“I hold out no promises to you as to the eventual outcome of this case,” Judge Anthony Morris told Westfield. “It’s open to the court to pass an immediate custodial sentence.”
Morris said the name of the other party involved in the deal would be known to cricket fans, but did not reveal it.
The court heard the seamer, who was released by Essex in 2010 ‘on cricketing grounds’, agreed to bowl the first over so that 12 runs could be scored, but only 10 were achieved. Westfield conceded 60 runs from seven overs as Durham scored 276 for six, a target surpassed by Essex, who won the game by seven wickets.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2012.
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