London: June 1, 2012
English cricket chiefs have set up a new anti-corruption watchdog to monitor domestic limited overs competitions, it was announced on Thursday.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said the seven-strong panel of officials would scrutinise games in the domestic Twenty20 league and 40-over competitions.
The development came as former Essex bowler Mervyn Westfield's appeal against conviction in a match-fixing case was dismissed.
The new monitoring group would be run under the supervision of the ECB's anti-corruption chief Chris Watts and staffed by "suitably skilled and experienced individuals with investigative and regulatory backgrounds".
"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," ECB chief executive David Collier said.
"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 practices 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 being found guilty of accepting cash to bowl in a way that would allow the scoring of runs. (AFP)