Suffolk give former spot-fixer Westfield a second chance

File photo dated 3/4/2009 of Mervyn Westfield, the first county cricketer in England to be prosecuted for spot-fixing, who will launche a challenge against his conviction. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday May 24, 2012. Former Essex player Westfield was sentenced to four months in prison at the Old Bailey in February. Westfield, 23, from Chelmsford, was jailed after pleading 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. See PA story COURTS Westfield. Photo credit should read: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire ENGEMN00120120528085519
File photo dated 3/4/2009 of Mervyn Westfield, the first county cricketer in England to be prosecuted for spot-fixing, who will launche a challenge against his conviction. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday May 24, 2012. Former Essex player Westfield was sentenced to four months in prison at the Old Bailey in February. Westfield, 23, from Chelmsford, was jailed after pleading 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. See PA story COURTS Westfield. Photo credit should read: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire ENGEMN00120120528085519

Suffolk Cricket Club’s secretary Toby Pound revealed there were ‘no reservations’ about signing former convicted spot-fixer Mervyn Westfield after his ban was relaxed, writes Sam Murley.

The 27-year-old right-arm medium-fast bowler served an eight-week prison sentence and was banned from professional cricket for five years in 2012 after being found guilty of accepting a £6,000 payment to bowl badly for Essex against Durham three years previously.

But he saw the ban reduced to two years and was given special dispensation by the ECB to play Minor Counties level with Suffolk for the next 12 months.

“Everyone deserves a second chance and Mervyn is no different,” he said.

“What he did was a stupid mistake but from what the ECB have decided you can see he has gone a long way to redeem himself and make up for his past.

“We had no hesitation or reservations whatsoever when it came to signing Meryn.”