Cricket - 'Victimised' Kaneria disgusted with ECB

Former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has claimed he is being "victimised" after the England and Wales Cricket Board upheld his lifetime ban for spot-fixing.

PA Sport
Cricket - 'Victimised' Kaneria disgusted with ECB

View photo

Danish Kaneria has called on Pakistan's prime minister to help clear his name

Kaneria saw a second appeal against his suspension, handed down by the ECB in June last year, fail at a hearing in London on Tuesday. Following the hearing, ECB chairman Giles Clarke called on the 32-year-old to publicly admit his guilt, but Kaneria has instead hit out at the governing body as well as continuing to plead his innocence.

"I am deeply disappointed and disgusted with the decision," Kaneria told a press conference. "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."

Kaneria was handed the lifetime ban after he was described as "cajoling and pressurising" his ex-Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield into accepting cash in return for trying to concede a set number of runs during a Pro40 match in 2009.

Westfield, who spent two months in jail for his part in the scandal, was banned from playing professional cricket for five years, although Tuesday's decision made a provision for him return to club ranks from April 1 next year.

That provoked further anger from Kaneria, who has called on the Pakistan Cricket Board, and even his country's Prime Minister, to help clear his name.

"I have been victimised in this case and Westfield got his ban relaxed," he said. "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 President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif 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."

The PCB has previously requested that the International Cricket Council reduces seamer Mohammad Amir's five-year ban for spot-fixing. Amir admitted his part in a scam to bowl no balls to order during the Lord's Test against England in 2010. Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were also handed lengthy suspensions after they were later found to have been a part of the spot-fixing plan.

During Westfield's criminal trial last year, he named Kaneria as the figure who induced him into accepting £6,000 from a bookmaker to under-perform in the 2009 match.

View comments (2)