Kaneria loses spot-fixing appeal
Danish Kaneria has lost his ECB disciplinary appeal against two corruption convictions, although he could still have the length of his life ban from cricket reduced. The Pakistan legspinner was found guilty last year of inducing his former Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield to take part in spot-fixing and bringing the game into disrepute.
The ECB announced that Kaneria's case had been rejected, although a further appeal against the sanction and costs will be heard at a later date. As well as a lifetime suspension, costs of £100,000 were imposed on Kaneria. His lawyer Farogh Naseem said they would continue to pursue an appeal through the High Court in London, once they had received the panel's written decision.
"The decision is disappointing, we are just waiting for the reasons behind it," Kaneria told Sky Sports. "As soon as we know the reasons, we will take further steps."
Westfield, who was compelled to give evidence on behalf of the ECB, will also have an appeal against the length of his five-year ban assessed when the panel reconvenes, according to availability.
In a statement, the ECB's chief executive David Collier, said: "I welcome wholeheartedly the independent panel's decision to dismiss Mr Kaneria's appeal and uphold the earlier decision made by the cricket discipline commission last summer. I should like to thank the appeal panel for their time and diligence in hearing this case and I congratulate the ACCESS unit for its work in support of the successful prosecution of this corrupt activity. Corruption has no place in sport and ECB will continue to be vigilant and adopt a zero tolerance approach in this area."
Kaneria has continued to dispute his involvement in the episode, which saw Westfield jailed in February 2012 after pleading guilty to a charge of accepting or obtaining corrupt payments. He admitted to agreeing to concede a set number of runs from an over in a 2009 Pro40 match for Essex against Durham and named Kaneria, who is Pakistan's most successful spinner in Tests, as the facilitator.
As well as serving time in prison, Westfield was given a five-year suspension from the game, although he can play club cricket after three. He has, however, complained about his lack of support and initially refused to appear as a witness for the ECB at Kaneria's appeal. Westfield's absence could have undermined the ECB's case - with Kaneria's legal team threatening to pursue damages - and he was eventually forced to comply after a high-court order.
Because of an agreement between boards affiliated to the ICC, the ECB ban is effective throughout world cricket and the PCB previously agreed to uphold it.