Two county players approached by Indian bookmakers

London, May 27 (IANS) The England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed that two county players have formally reported being approached by bookmakers this season.

The information has been passed to the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) anti-corruption unit and to the police, The Guardian reported Thursday.

Already this year two Essex players – Mervyn Westfield and Danish Kaneria – have been arrested ‘on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud’, and this week the Daily Telegraph has quoted an unnamed county veteran claiming that he has been offered money by an Indian businessman to fix a one-day match, and that other players may already be involved.

The ECB’s revelation that a second player has now come forward will be seen as further worrying evidence.

Pakistan spinner Kaneria, who is under the scanner, is currently playing on bail for Essex in their County Championship game against Lancashire at Old Trafford.

Essex’s first-team coach, Paul Grayson, confirmed that as far as he knows, the latest allegations do not involve an Essex player.

‘They have investigated a few cases over the last couple of years, but this is all new, so it’s really disappointing if that’s happening in county cricket,’ Grayson was quoted as saying in the report.

‘A couple of guys I’ve spoken to were asked questions. That was when I was playing. It’s probably more rife than we can imagine – it certainly is overseas. We’ve expected it to happen overseas, but certainly not in our game.’

Now the televising of English one-day matches in India is thought to have led to approaches being made to players to take money either for spot-fixing or, according to this week’s revelations, match-fixing.

The ECB has developed an education programme in conjunction with the Professional Cricketers Association under which players can, in confidence, report any approaches.

–Indo-Asian New Service