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Kaneria banned for life by ECB for corruption

India TV News Desk 22 Jun 2012, 22:23:26 IST
India TV News Desk
London, Jun 22: Pakistani legspinner Danish Kaneria was banned for life by the England and Wales Cricket Board on Friday for corruption.

Hours earlier, the ECB disciplinary panel found Kaneria guilty of pressuring former Essex teammate Mervyn Westfield into spot-fixing in an English county one-day game in 2009.

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.

“We regard Danish Kaneria as a grave danger to the game of cricket and we must take every appropriate step to protect our game from his corrupt activities,” the ECB said in a statement.

“Accordingly, we are unanimously of the view that the only appropriate sanction in relation to both charges is one of suspension for life and that is the sanction we impose.”

The ban was only for cricket in the jurisdiction of the ECB, but the Pakistan Cricket Board has said it would uphold the ECB ruling, likely meaning the end of the 31-year-old Kaneria's career. He played for Pakistan from 2000 to 2010, when he was suspended from internationals until the spot-fixing case was resolved.

The ECB said Kaneria was guilty of “cajoling and pressurizing” Westfield into spot-fixing, and of bringing the game into disrepute.

“As a senior international player of repute he plainly betrayed the trust reposed in him in his dealings with fellow teammates and we regard his persistent efforts to recruit spot-fixers as being a seriously aggravating factor in his case,” the ECB said.

“Kaneria has made no admission, has shown no remorse and sought to cast blame on other plainly innocent persons.”

The ECB said Kaneria acted as a “recruiter” of spot-fixers for Indian businessman Anu Bhatt, who was described as being involved in illegal betting. It said Kaneria introduced Bhatt to Westfield and pressured him to deliberately concede a minimum number of runs in his first over of the Essex-Durham match in September 2009.

Westfield allegedly received 6,000 pounds ($9,400) for his part in the scheme.

Kaneria was accused in a British court in February of inducing Westfield, and Westfield was jailed for four months this year after pleading guilty to spot-fixing.

The ECB said Westfield was “both vulnerable and naive” and “relatively unworldly and unsophisticated” at the time of the incident.

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.

The penalties came a day after former Pakistan captain Salman Butt was released from an English jail after serving seven months of a 30-month sentence for his role in spot-fixing during the 2010 tour of England. He returned to Pakistan early Friday.

Butt was jailed along with Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, who have also both since been released after serving half of their sentences, after they agreed to bowl no-balls during a test match at Lord's.