Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Mervyn Westfield in line for return to cricket
2:00pm Wednesday 5th March 2014 in Sport
FORMER Essex cricketer Mervyn Westfield is poised to make a dramatic return to action with Frinton.
The 25-year-old is currently banned for spot-fixing — an offence that led to him being jailed in 2012.
He served eight weeks of a four-month sentence at Belmarsh Prison but is still suspended from playing, or even training, with any club until April 1.
But assuming the ban is lifted, if the player is deemed to have met all the guidelines laid out by the England and Wales Cricket Board, Westfield is set to become player-coach at ambitious Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship side Frinton.
“Mervyn has verbally agreed to join, on the condition his ban is lifted,” said first-team skipper Mark Jones.
“It’s very exciting news for both parties and hopefully it will be mutually beneficial for us both.
“Mervyn’s First-Class experience will improve us and hopefully help take us to the next level.
“There’s no doubt about his quality or pedigree and you only have to look at his stats to see what a talented player he is.
“But as well as him helping us, hopefully it will work both ways.
“I’ve spoken to him a lot in the last couple of months and he’s very keen to get back playing cricket.
“He wants to get back on track and everyone deserves a second chance, which we’re happy to give him.”
The original connection between Frinton and Westfield, who played seven first-class matches for Essex, came about through bowler Jermaine Shillingford.
The pair are friends and both hail from Barking.
Since then the club have liased with the Professional Cricketers’ Association and they are keen for him to sign for the Ashlyns Road club.
“The PCA think highly of our club,” said Jones. “We have a long association with them and they realise we can help Mervyn move forward in his career.”
Westfield, who is banned from playing professional cricket until 2017, will only meet and train with his potential new team-mates if his ban is lifted on April 1.
“Mervyn is a good young man who obviously made a mistake, but everyone in life deserves a second chance,” said Frinton chairman Pat Patel.
“This is an opportunity for him to start again at grass-roots level and it’s a big coup for our club.
“We’re looking to go places and believe our future lies in the East Anglian Premier League.
“Hopefully Mervyn can help us achieve our ambitions.”