Essex need to move on, says chief executive David East

CHIEF executive David East said Essex need to “move on” now in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal that has blighted the county.

Former Essex player Mervyn Westfield was jailed for four years at the Old Bailey in February after admitting he received �6,000 to bowl badly so that 12 runs were scored in the first over of a 40-over match against Durham in September 2009.

Essex issued a statement ahead of yesterday’s Press Day, which read: “Essex Cricket wish to make it clear that the players and management involved in the discovery and reporting of suspicions concerning the possible collusion of Mervyn Westfield and Danish Kaneria in spot-fixing at the club in 2009 which ultimately led to the conviction of Mervyn Westfield, took the correct action in reporting those suspicions.

“What the English domestic game has learned since early 2010 and the events that then took place in the late summer of 2010 during the Pakistan tour has fundamentally changed our knowledge and response to the threat of corruption in English domestic cricket.

“The sport is in a better situation now as a result of greater knowledge, new regulations and better education across the board. The game owes a debt to the positive actions taken by the Essex players who came forward. Without them, the corruption that occurred may never have been exposed.

“As the incidents and protagonists are now the subject of regulatory proceedings and investigations, until those are concluded neither the club nor the players will be making any further comment.”

Speaking at yesterday’s Press Day chief executive East said: “With the benefit of hindsight none of us would have wanted this to happen. We think we have acted appropriately and the players have acted appropriately and it has been dealt with and gone through the appropriate channels.

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“In 2009 it was a very different place, but the education of the players and the support staff is so much better now that should the alarm bells sound out they will be heard.

“It has been a very difficult couple of years, but we need to move on from this now and look forward to a good season.”

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