Mervyn Westfield Tells His Story from Wanstead to Belmarsh – 27/09/13
Since his conviction for spot-fixing during a match for Essex against Durham in 2011, Mervyn Westfield's life has fallen apart.
Westfield has spoken out for the first time about the chain of events which led to him receiving a prison sentence for spot-fixing. He has worked with the PCA to produce a powerful video designed to educate fellow players about the risks they face, and the consequences of succumbing to temptation.
A criminal trial, resulting in a four-month Custodial Sentence and a cricket disciplinary hearing, resulting in a five-year suspension from professional cricket and a three-year ban from club cricket, has been the punishment handed down from the Criminal Justice System and the governing body.
For the first time ever, and as part of a process to reintegrate himself back into the game and the world he loves so much, Mervyn explains what happened, how he gave into peer pressure and the shame he's brought to his family and friends. This important step forms the first part of a process that will see him appear at the PCA's Rookie Camp in February 2014 and at each PCA pre-season meeting with every County in mid-to-late March, 2014.
In recognition of Westfield’s willingness to help the PCA with its anti-corruption education programme, an ECB appeal panel in June reduced his ban from club cricket by a year, meaning he will be eligible to commence playing non-first-class cricket from April 2014.
Jason Ratcliffe, PCA Assistant Chief Executive, said, "It's clear from the chain of events that Mervyn has been through a lot, both within the Criminal Justice System and the games discipline commission. He recognises that he did wrong and that the time is right to make amends within the cricket community, to ensure nobody makes the same mistakes. His moving interview is the first step of the education process and should serve as a timely reminder to all, that cricket and other sports will not let up in the fight against corrupters."
Mervyn’s Barrister, Mr Yasin Patel, commented, "Mervyn’s punishment in this matter has been severe – incarceration in Belmarsh Prison and the loss of his freedom and liberty. The loss of his professional career, non-participation at all levels of the professional game for five years and club cricket for three years, a criminal record, shame, and the list goes on. His participation in this video not only shares his own experiences, but warns fellow peers of the dangers of corruption in sport. The video is educational, biographical and is Mervyn’s story of the episode. One hopes he will be respected for his honesty, openness and bravery in coming forward in such a forthright way. We all hope Mervyn’s actions can now make a big difference for all those that follow to play the professional game, whether here in England or wider afield."
Click below to see Mervyn’s interview.