Spot-fixing July 2, 2013

Kaneria life ban upheld on appeal

ESPNcricinfo staff

Danish Kaneria, the former Pakistan legspinner, has lost his appeal against a life ban from cricket imposed by the ECB. Kaneria was banned in June 2012 after being found guilty of corruption in the spot-fixing case involving Mervyn Westfield but had been hoping to get the sanction reduced.

However, the ECB announced on Tuesday that a disciplinary commission appeals panel had rejected Kaneria's case. ESPNcricinfo understands that a decision on the £100,000 costs that were imposed on Kaneria was deferred.

Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, said the board welcomed the decision. "The appeal panel's findings in this case clearly confirm the disciplinary panel's finding that Mr Kaneria acted as a recruiter of potential 'spot-fixers' and used his seniority and international experience to target and corrupt a young and vulnerable player," Clarke said.

"The ECB will continue to advocate the need for the strongest possible deterrent sanctions for anyone found guilty of such conduct. Such sanctions are vital for the protection of the integrity of our great game.

"We trust that today's decision will serve as a stark reminder to all professional cricketers and those involved in professional cricket of the life-changing consequences of corruption and the importance of immediately reporting any suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities."

Westfield, Kaneria's team-mate at Essex who spent time in prison after admitting to receiving payment in order to underperform, also appealed the length of his ban. He was originally given a five-year suspension from the game, although he would have been allowed to return to club cricket after three years.

However, the panel decided to reduce the second element of the ban, providing Westfield cooperates with the anti-corruption programme run by the Professional Cricketers' Association. That being the case, he can resume playing club cricket from April 1, 2014.

"The ECB notes the appeal panel's decision on Mr Westfield's appeal against the length of his ban," the ECB chief executive, David Collier, said. "Without Mr Westfield's stand, the corrupt actions of Mr Kaneria might not have been exposed. The ECB will support Mr Westfield's efforts to rehabilitate himself and as part of this process hopes that he can raise awareness of the dangers of corruption in cricket."

The lawyers of Kaneria, who lost a previous appeal against the two guilty verdicts handed down by the ECB despite continuing to deny his involvement, have previously suggested they could try to take the case to the High Court in London. Because of an agreement between boards affiliated to the ICC, the ECB ban applied to Kaneria is applicable throughout world cricket and would effectively mean the end of his career.

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