Muhammad Asif Khan
KARACHI: The banned Pakistani leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, who has been striving to clear his name in the spot-fixing scandal, expressed surprise over the latest statement by Mervyn Westfield and termed it a “bundle of lies” which, according to Kaneria, are contradictory to his previous testimonies before the Essex police and the Disciplinary Panel. “Upon inquiry, during the police interview, Westfield categorically denied to have been approached by me. Later the disciplinary panel labeled him as a “devious”. As a matter of fact, Westfield has constantly lied, to the Police, to his team mates, to Essex Cricket Club, to the Judge in the criminal case, to the ECB and to both the Panels which heard our case”, maintained Danish Kaneria, while talking to this correspondent for News One TV.
Kaneria said during the sentence hearing for mitigation, even the Judge wasn’t impressed with Westfield’s plea and passed stern remarks. “I accept pleading guilty, I have grave doubts whether even now you are really showing the great remorse which your counsel is showing”, added Kaneria, while quoting the Judge.
In the interview earlier this month, Westfield stated, “We were at his house and he [Kaneria] asked if he could speak to me outside. That is when he started to first talk about it. He [Kaneria] said it is hard for young players to get money in cricket these days. That was how conversation started”.
Challenging this claim, Danish Kaneria termed it a blatant lie, adding that Westfield had a history of issuing inconsistence statements. “In his witness statements and during cross-examinations, he stated that the conversation took place at a house. Factually, when a person lies, his statements vary”, claimed Kaneria, who has 261 wickets to his credit in 61 Test matches for Pakistan.
“In the video, he relied on his statement which I successfully challenged and highlighted that his story was not supported with any evidences, hence I have filed an appeal at the Commercial Court in London”, said Kaneria, who played the last Test match for Pakistan in 2010.
Danish Kaneria, 32, hoped that the honourable Commercial Court Judge would not be influenced by Mervyn Westfield’s video statement and would deal with the matter in a fair and just manner.