I've been victimised, says Danish Kaneria

Former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria said yesterday he was “disgusted” by England’s decision to uphold his life ban for spot fixing, and claimed he was being victimised.

Danish Kaneria
Danish Kaneria

An appeal panel of the England and Wales Cricket Board discipline commission upheld the ban in full on Tuesday, the second time Kaneria has lost an appeal against ECB charges.

The 32-year-old was handed a life ban by the ECB last year after a panel found him guilty of inducing his then Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield to deliberately under-perform by agreeing to concede a certain number of runs in return for money while bowling in a county one-day match in 2009.

After Kaneria’s first appeal was rejected in April he had asked for the ban to be reduced.

The ban effectively prevents him from playing all international and domestic cricket worldwide as boards under International Cricket Council (ICC) jurisdiction have agreed to uphold punishments imposed by individual countries in such circumstances. “I am deeply disappointed and disgusted with the decision,” Kaneria told AFP. “I have been victimised in this case and Westfield got his ban relaxed.”

The panel upheld Westfield’s five-year ban but allowed him to feature in club cricket in two years instead of the original three. “Right from the outset there was no evidence against me and not even the Essex police charged me, but the ECB has been unjust towards me and it’s unacceptable,” said Kaneria.

ECB chairman Giles Clarke has urged Kaneria to come clean about his involvement in corruption and stop misleading fans and the wider public “with his empty protestations of innocence”.

Kaneria, said he feels abandoned. “I feel alone and at times I feel that because I am from a minority, people don’t support me. The PCB has not supported me in the case. I appeal to (Pakistani) President and Prime Minister to please take up my case with England. I want to play cricket and don’t want to be stopped because of this unjust ban.”

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