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Rediff.com  » Sports » Essex cricketer charged in match-fixing claim

Essex cricketer charged in match-fixing claim

September 17, 2010 12:15 IST

Former Essex County cricketer Mervyn Westfield has been charged with 'conspiracy to defraud' for his role in an alleged rigged County match last year.

Westfield, who is alleged to have placed bets on his Pro-40 match against Durham last September, was charged at Rayleigh police station in Essex. He was later released on bail.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that the 22-year-old is accused of conspiring to defraud the club's members, his teammates and spectators at the match, and would now appear at City of London Magistrates' Court next Thursday.

"I have advised that Mervyn Westfield should be charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud for intentionally playing other than to the best of his ability, contrary to his contractual obligations," The Daily Mail quoted Antony Swift, of the CPS, as saying.

"It is alleged that he dishonestly agreed to bowl his first over to allow the scoring of a certain number of runs at a match between Durham and Essex on September 5, 2009," he added.

Meanwhile, Essex County said that it is saddened by the news, and informed that Westfield's contract would not to be renewed for 2011.

 "We have not been privy to any of the evidence collected by the authorities, which is why no action was taken against the player whilst the inquiries were ongoing. Clearly the police now feel they have sufficient evidence to proceed," the club said in a statement.

"He leaves the employment of the club on September 30. The club will not be making any further comment on this matter," it added.

The common law offence of conspiracy to defraud carries a maximum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

Source: ANI