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April 9, 2012
Danish Kaneria, the Pakistan legspinner, has decided to contest the charge brought about by the ECB against him for breaching its anti-corruption directives. The ECB had decided last week to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Kaneria and his former Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield, who was jailed for four months in January after he admitted to underperforming in a Pro40 match against Durham in September 2009.
Kaneria has hired three law firms to present his case: Time Solicitors and Stephen Hourigan in the UK, and Dr. Farogh Naseem in Pakistan.
Kaneria was questioned by the Essex police in March last year in relation to the incident but was released on grounds of insufficient evidence. Kaneria hasn't been cleared by the PCB to play for Pakistan, but has been playing domestic cricket. He is currently Pakistan's leading Test spin bowler, with 261 wickets in 61 Tests.
An ECB disciplinary panel, chaired by Gerard Elias QC, is expected to sit in the first week of May to consider the charge. Kaneria's legal team has, however, sought a delay in the hearing and time until at least May 10 to reply to a 400-page evidence bundle that is yet to be received by the lawyers in Pakistan. Kaneria will also need time to apply for a UK visa.
"It seems that even if we expedite the matter at a very fast pace, the bundle of 400 pages available at the Time Solicitors London office is likely to be couriered to us on Tuesday," Naseem wrote to the ECB in a letter, a copy of which is with ESPNcricinfo. "Also considering that Kaneria's defence and supporting evidence will have to be jointly finalised by lawyers from two jurisdictions i.e UK and Pakistan, it seems that it will not be possible to furnish the same by 20-4-2012.
"It is thus most humbly requested that the time to supply Kaneria's defense and supporting evidence may be extended up to May 10, whereafter the disciplinary hearing may be scheduled."
Westfield is expected to be released from jail this month.