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Banned spinner Danish Kaneria heads to UK for appeal

Pakistan player hopes to have life ban for pressuring teammate to spot-fix lifted

Image Credit: AP
Danish Kaneria
Gulf News

Islamabad: Former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria hopes to revive his international career following an appeal of his life ban before a disciplinary committee of the England and Wales Cricket Board next week.

Kaneria was banned by the ECB last year for pressuring former Essex teammate Mervyn Westfield into spot-fixing in an English county one-day game in 2009.

Kaneria left on Tuesday for London, where the hearing will be held next Monday.

“I have high hopes the panel will be independent and neutral in this hearing,” Kaneria said. “My livelihood is stuck due to the ECB’s ban.”

The hearing was deferred last December when the ECB was unable to gain Westfield’s cooperation to appear before the committee.

Westfield, who pleaded guilty to receiving payment which could bring him or the game into disrepute, was banned for five years, but allowed to participate in minor club cricket after three years.

Westfield’s admission of guilt and his evidence against Kaneria led the ECB to reduce a possible suspension of nine years to five, and allow him to be involved only in club cricket after three years of his ban.

Kaneria expects Westfield to testify in his favour. “I hope things will be seen more clearly by the disciplinary committee in the presence of Westfield,” he said.

Kaneria played for Pakistan from 2000 to 2010, when he was suspended by the Pakistan Cricket Board until the spot-fixing case was resolved. An integral part of Pakistan’s Test team, he took 261 wickets in 61 matches.

Kaneria’s determination to clear his name included an appeal to the Sindh High Court in Karachi to try and overturn his PCB suspension. But the court dismissed his appeal in 2011, saying it was not within its jurisdiction.

Pakistan cricket has been hit badly by spot-fixing and match-fixing over the last three years.

Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir are serving long bans for their involvement in spot-fixing during a Test against England in 2010, while last week the PCB banned umpire Nadeem Ghauri for four years for corruption.