Spot-fixing February 10, 2012

Westfield sentencing adjourned for a week

Alan Gardner

The sentencing of Mervyn Westfield, the former Essex pace bowler who pleaded guilty to spot-fixing last month, has been adjourned for a week until February 17 due to "administrative matters."

The hearing had been scheduled to start at 11am but was put back as representatives of the prosecution and the defence discussed details relating to the case. Eventually the session began at around 12.15, at which point Westfield's counsel, Mark Milliken-Smith, asked for the adjournment. The prosecution offered no objection and Judge Anthony Morris agreed to the request.

Westfield, 23, became the first English cricketer to be convicted of spot-fixing after submitting a guilty plea at the start of his trial at the Old Bailey, London's central criminal court, on January 12. He admitted to accepting £6,000 in return for conceding a set number of runs off an over in a Pro40 match against Durham in September 2009.

Westfield was paid despite failing to give up the agreed 12 runs - Durham managed just to score 10 from the over, the first of the bowler's spell, in a game which Essex went on to win. The truth only came to light in 2010 when Westfield confessed to then team-mate Tony Palladino, now of Derbyshire, and showed him the money he had received.

Palladino had been due to be the prosecution's main witness in the case before Westfield decided to admit his crime, despite previous denials.

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo