12/01/2012 17:41 GMT | Updated 13/03/2012 09:12 GMT

Corruption Amnesty Announced By England And Wales Cricket Board

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced a three-month amnesty for cricketers to report corruption after a former Essex bowler admitted accepting payments for bowling easy balls.

Mervyn Westfield, 23, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to accepting or obtaining a corrupt payment.

Westfield agreed to bowl the first over in a one-day, 40-over match between Durham and Essex in September 2009 to allow the scoring of a certain number of runs.

Following the news the ECB said that it would allow players and officials to report any corruption activity until April 30 without the threat of sanctions for not informing them before.

It is currently an offence under ECB regulations not to report corrupt activity, and the board said it wanted to "provide an open opportunity for players or officials who may not have previously reported such activity to be offered the opportunity to furnish information".

Newly appointed information officer to the ECB anti-corruption unit Chris Watts said: "Individuals may not have thought these approaches were worthy of reporting at the time, and prior to the decision of the board may have been concerned that the fact that they did not report such activity may have put them at risk of disciplinary action.

"I am working closely with the PCA to provide players and officials with this opportunity to work with our ACCESS unit to ensure that we work together to address the threat created by corruption in sport."