Pakistan’s banned leg spinner Danish Kaneria has slammed the Pakistani and English cricket authorities after it was announced that fast bowler Mervyn Westfield has been allowed to play lower-level cricket with one year of his spot-fixing ban remaining.
“If anything, the permission by the England and Wales Cricket Board to allow special treatment to Westfield, confirms their bias and discrimination towards me throughout this case,” Kaneria told PTI in Karachi.
The ECB anti-corruption tribunal had banned Kaneria for life in 2012 and Westfield was jailed the same year and banned from professional cricket for five years and club cricket for three years on spot fixing charges.
Both were banned after they played together for Essex in the English county championship.
Westfield claimed in his testimony that he accepted a 6000 pounds to under-perform in a 40-over pro match between Essex and Durham in September 2009.
The paceman claimed Kaneria had groomed him to indulge in spot fixing.
“It just gets tougher to bear all this. On one hand the Pakistan board is not willing to even listen on me and now the ECB has allowed Westfield permission to play again,” Kaneria said.
“It is strange to me that I have not even confessed to any spot fixing nor has any solid evidence been shown against me. They never even put me on trial. But a person who admitted accepting money for spot-fixing and who changes his statements on oath is being shown leniency,” Kaneria lamented.
“The ECB banned me on the basis of Westfield’s statement which he changed during the hearings while they are not even willing to listen to me and talk evidence.”
“I remain banned based on an individual’s statement and no real proof,” he added.
Kaneria who lost two appeals in the United Kingdom against his life ban is also facing a legal battle to avoid paying a compensation of around 200,000 pounds which the ECB is claiming from him to cover its costs for the spot fixing case.
The ECB has filed a petition in the Sindh High Court to recover the money from Kaneria.
“I just say to these boards at least review this so called evidence and cross examine Westfield again. They banned me on basis of Westfield’s testimony which is injustice.”
Pakistan’s top leg spinner Abdul Qadir said he was pained by the plight of Kaneria.
“I just feel sad for him because until now neither has the ECB nor the PCB shown us any real incriminating evidence against him. To add insult to injury now this fellow Westfield is allowed to resume playing cricket,” Qadir said.
“The way they proceeded in the case against Kaneria I have always felt the life ban was an extreme measure. What is disappointing is the way the PCB has kept quiet on this issue all this time.”
“England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had banned Kaneria and not the ICC. Then on what grounds has the PCB barred him from playing cricket? He earns for a living from the game,” Qadir questioned.