Westfield: Prison was hell for me

England

Former Essex seamer Mervyn Westfield has revealed the torment caused by four months spent in prison after being found guilty for spot-fixing.

Former Essex seamer Mervyn Westfield has revealed the torment caused by four months spent in prison after being found guilty for spot-fixing.

Westfield was imprisoned and banned from professional cricket for five years in 2012, after accepting 6,000 pounds (9,606 dollars, 7,124 euros) to concede more than a dozen runs in an over during a fixture against Durham in September 2009.

The 25-year-old served the sentence at Belmarsh prison in London and is currently employed as a shop assistant at a Tesco supermarket.

"They took me down to the room, handcuffed me and put me in the security van," he said in a film recorded by the Professional Cricketers' Association.

"I felt so scared. You are in this little box and you can't look outside the windows of the van because they were blacked out.

"Personally I didn't know anything about Belmarsh but my solicitors ran it by me. They said it was double A category jail and the most secure jail in Europe. All the high risk people go there. I was wondering why am I going there?

"My time in Belmarsh was hell for me. They tell you what you can do and what you can't do. What time you eat and what time you go back into the room, what time you can come out for exercise, what time you have a shower. I didn't shower any more."

Westfield, meanwhile, has reiterated claims he was pressurised by former team-mate Danish Kaneria, who was banned for life for his part in the affair. The erstwhile Pakistan leg-spinner's lawyers have since filed an appeal in the United Kingdom.

"Danish was a very bubbly person and everyone liked him in the dressing room. He got on well with everyone. He was a role model for most people in our team," added Westfield.

"We were at his house and he asked if he could speak to me outside. That is when he started to first talk about it. He said it is hard for young players to get money in cricket these days. That was how the conversation started.

"Kaneria and his associates said they wanted me to go for 12 runs or more in the first over I bowled. They suggested to me that a few people in the game were doing it as well.

"I felt so confused what was going on. I didn't know if I could talk to anyone or if anyone knew what it was. I didn't know if they would be in the same situation as me.

"I decided to keep it all to myself. The day came when I played against Durham. I bowled my first over, but I did not check the scoreboard to see if I went for 12 or more."

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