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February 18, 2012
The Short Stuff : 'You have betrayed trust'
David Hopps : Essex have questions to answer
News : Kaneria left under the microscope
News : Mervyn Westfield jailed for four months
News : Mervyn Westfield trial and conviction
In Focus: Corruption in cricket
Players/Officials: Mervyn Westfield
Series/Tournaments: England Domestic Season
The ECB could legally enforce a worldwide ban upon Danish Kaneria, according to Ian Smith, legal director of the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA). Smith said the ECB would be within its rights to impose a ban subject to holding a full investigation into Kaneria's alleged role as the go-between in the Mervyn Westfield spot-fixing case.
Westfield was sentenced to four months in prison for accepting £6,000 to concede 12 runs in an over bowling for Essex against Durham in 2009. Kaneria was named at Westfield's sentencing hearing as the alleged "fixer" for the deal. Westfield was banned from all cricket by the ECB pending a disciplinary hearing and Smith said the ECB could ban Kaneria under the same terms.
"The procedures allow for an interim suspension exactly in the same way as has happened to Mervyn Westfield," Smith told BBC Test Match Special. "If on the face of the evidence - and we all have to agree it looks bad whilst we cling on to innocent until proven guilty - it is within the remit of the cricket disciplinary commission to suspend if they think that the evidence they have got is enough to justify that.
"There are appeal mechanisms but what has been agreed at ICC level is that all of the Boards will honour the move of the other board in that direction. If the ECB suspend that suspension applies across the board to all cricket and we would expect the Pakistan cricket Board to honour that.
"If you start to dabble in these things you will get caught and the penalties are much higher than anything you might warn doing something corrupt. I hope that serves as a deterrent effect for the future.
Smith comments come after the chief executive of the PCA, Angus Porter, said county cricket must reassert its reputation for honesty and integrity in the wake of the Mervyn Westfield spot-fixing case.
Westfield, the former Essex fast bowler, was jailed for four months at The Old Bailey after admitting his involvement in fixing - the first cricketer in England to be prosecuted for such an offence.
Porter, chief executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA), told BBC Radio Five Live: "If we can establish a culture which says this game has to be honest, it has to be played straight, and we will demonstrate this to everyone who joins our team in everything that we do, I think that's our best defence."
A confiscation order was also made for £6,000, the amount that Westfield was paid to concede a specific number of runs in the first over of a CB40 match between Durham and Essex in September 2009.
The payment came to light when Westfield returned home late from a party to his Chelmsford flat with an Essex team-mate, Tony Palladino, and showed him a plastic bag full of £50 notes, described by Palladino as "the most money he had ever seen". The scam was only reported to the ECB six months later after the PCA had issued new instructions for reporting suspicions of rigging matches.
Porter preferred to take a positive view of Essex's response, despite the lengthy gestation period between discovering and reporting the incident. "What I do think is positive is when within a dressing room we can establish a positive culture led by the captain and senior players," he said. "We saw this demonstrated at Essex, that a more junior player went to the senior players. The senior players got their heads together, worked out what to do and did the right thing."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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