12:39pm Thursday 31st May 2012
A new anti-corruption team has been established to monitor this season's domestic limited-overs competitions.
The England and Wales cricket Board have set up a seven-strong team of officials who will be deployed at games in the Friends Life t20 and Clydesdale Bank 40.
The announcement comes on the same day former Essex bowler Mervyn Westfield's criminal conviction in a spot-fixing case, relating to a one-day game against Durham in 2009, was upheld.
The new team will be overseen by ECB anti-corruption official Chris Watts and staffed by "suitably skilled and experienced individuals with investigative and regulatory backgrounds", according to an ECB statement released this morning.
ECB chief executive David Collier said: "The ECB has been at the forefront of efforts to stamp out corruption in cricket and the creation of a dedicated team of officials to monitor our domestic limited-overs competitions demonstrates our determination to protect the integrity of the sport.
"The team will be operative for a 10-week period beginning with the first round of matches in this summer's Friends Life t20 competition and ending with the final round of group matches in the CB40 competition.
"They will be a visible presence at matches and will act as a constant reminder to players, officials and club personnel of the need for constant vigilance with regard to this issue as we seek to identify, prevent and eradicate corrupt practises from our domestic game.
"Players from all 18 first-class counties have recently participated in anti-corruption tutorial sessions and we will continue to work closely with the Professional Cricketers' Association to enhance player education around this issue."
Westfield was jailed for four months after he was found guilty of accepting or obtaining a corrupt payment to bowl in a way that would allow the scoring of runs, and today failed with an appeal.
Sports agent Mazhar Majeed also had his appeal dismissed after he was jailed for his part in a deliberate no-ball plot involving Pakistan bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir and captain Salman Butt, during the Lord's Test against England in 2010. All three players were also jailed and are currently serving five-year bans from cricket imposed by the International Cricket Council.
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