Suffolk CC had no reservations about handing former convicted spot-fixer a second chance

SECOND CHANCE: Former convicted spot fixer Mervyn Westfield has signed for Suffolk Cricket Club

SECOND CHANCE: Former convicted spot fixer Mervyn Westfield has signed for Suffolk Cricket Club

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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.

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

However, after agreeing to participate in an anti-corruption programme run by the Professional Cricketers’ Association, Westfield’s ban was reduced to two-years.

And he was handed a further boost on Thursday after the ECB decided to allow him special dispensation to feature at County Second XI or Minor Counties level for the next 12 months.

That led Suffolk to make a move for the 27-year-old who has had a two-year stint with Frinton with Pound backing Westfield to make the most of his second chance.

“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 what so ever when it came to signing Meryn. We had a discussions about the situation and we felt as a board that he should be given the chance.

“He is obviously a talented player and hopefully we can give him that chance to get back into the first class game.

“If we can get him fit, which is his main priority right now, then we will have a very effective wicket taker among our ranks.

“It can be hard to find that quality and so often when you find a good young fast bowler they are snapped up into the first class game.

“It is also a great opportunity for Mervyn to show is capable of getting back to where he feels he should be and make amends for his mistakes, so hopefully we can help him to do that.