Kaneria feels he was made a scapegoat by ECB

Thursday, 12 July 2012

By Muhammad Asif Khan
 
LONDON: Slapped with a lifetime ban, for his involvement in a spot-fixing scandal,
by the Disciplinary panel of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the former Essex and Pakistan Leg-spinner, Danish Kaneria feels that he was ‘mistreated’ by the ECB panel as, according to him, the judgment was ‘pre-determined’. “My lawyers were not even heard properly during the hearing. I was given a harsh treatment even without concrete evidence against me”, said Kaneria while talking to this correspondent.
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Kaneria has already filed an appeal against the life ban imposed by the (ECB) on July 12 2012 for spot-fixing in a pro-40 match played in 2009. Kaneria was found guilty of two charges following a contested hearing which was held in London. In view of the charges the ECB banned him (Kaneria) for life from any involvement in the playing, organisation or administration of any cricket under the jurisdiction of the (ECB).
 
Later the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also endorsed the ECB ban, saying that as per the International Cricket Council (ICC) rules Kaneria would remain suspended pending his appeal.
 
Only months prior to the ECB hearing Kaneria’s county teammate Marven Westfield, during criminal proceedings in a London court, admitted to have underperformed in match against Durham in 2009 allegedly on the behest of Danish Kaneria. Although, London Police never charged Kaneria in that case due to lack of evidence.
 
Danish Kaneria further claimed that he was made scapegoat in the fixing episode, adding that he had nothing to do with Westfield’s involvement in the menace. According to Kaneria – the most successful spin bowler of Pakistan – during the hearing of the appeal his lawyers would also want to question Westfield. “In an appeal my lawyers have requested for the formation of an independent panel. We also want to question Westfield during the proceedings, because we believe that probably in order to have his sentence reduced, Westfield pleaded guilty and accused me of instigating him”, said Kaneria who have taken 261 wickets in 61 test matches for Pakistan.
 
“The trail of the appeal should be transparent in which media should also be allowed to witness the proceedings”, concludes Kaneria.
 
In May 2010, Kaneria was arrested by the Essex police in connection with “match irregularities” in the 2009 domestic season. The investigations are believed to focus on a NatWest Pro40 match in September 2009, which Essex won.
 
 
The writer is a sports journalist in Pakistan, heads the sports department at News One TV & tweets @mak_asif
 
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