The Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) today announced that the former Essex cricketer Mervyn Westfield will be allowed to play Minor Counties and First Class Second XI cricket from the start of this season.
The decision follows an appeal by the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) on behalf of Westfield who is currently serving a five year ban from all First Class cricket for breaching the ECB’s Anti-Corruption Directives while playing for Essex against Durham in 2009.
The ban was originally imposed in 2012 after Westfield pleaded guilty to criminal charges relating to the same 2009 fixture and was subsequently sentenced to a four month prison term.
The CDC Panel ruled that Westfield must continue to serve the remainder of his five year ban from First Class County cricket because strong deterrent sentences continue to play an important role in the wider fight against corruption in cricket.
But it agreed to vary his sentence to allow him to play at a lower level after acknowledging the important contribution he has made to joint ECB and PCA anti-corruption initiatives, including a recent trip to South Africa to support a player education programme.
Gerard Elias, Chairman of the CDC, said: “The Panel concluded that Mr Westfield has made a real and substantial effort in this area which reflects his continuing remorse and a genuine desire on his part to repay cricket for the harm caused by his actions in 2009.
“In these exceptional circumstances, we shall allow him to participate in Minor Counties cricket and First Class County Second XI cricket from February 17th, 2016. However, he will not be able to participate in first team cricket for any First Class County until his original sentence expires on February 16th, 2017.”