Jailed fixer Mervyn Westfield has been granted permission to return to professional cricket this season despite having a year still to serve on a five-year ban from the game.
Former Essex bowler Westfield will be permitted to be play for a county’s second XI or for minor counties following a ruling by an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) disciplinary commission.
But the 27-year-old, imprisoned for eight weeks in 2012 after admitting taking money to aid spot-betting on an Essex one-day game, failed to have his ban on playing first-class level lifted before next year.
“I’m really happy to play minor counties and second XI again, if anyone gives me the opportunity,” he said. “I’m probably a bit rusty. My body didn’t used to ache as much, but I’m trying to get back my fitness.”
Westfield, who has been combining work as a scaffolder with playing for Essex club side Frinton, was given credit for his anti-corruption work with the Professional Cricketers’ Association.
An ECB statement 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.”