Spot-fixing

Kaneria, Westfield appeal to be heard

George Dobell

June 30, 2013

Comments: 18 | Text size: A | A

Danish Kaneria at the Sindh High Court, Karachi, July 4, 2011
Danish Kaneria is appealing against the length of his ban and the costs imposed by the ECB © AFP
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Players/Officials: Danish Kaneria | Mervyn Westfield
Teams: England | Pakistan

The appeal into the sanctions imposed upon Danish Kaneria and Mervyn Westfield will be held in London on Tuesday.

Kaneria was banned for life by an ECB disciplinary panel in June 2012 after he was found guilty of corruption. Kaneria subsequently lost his appeal against the decision in April of this year. The current appeal is to contest the length of the ban and the costs of £100,000 that he is required to pay. Kaneria will not be present but will be represented by lawyers.

Westfield was jailed for four months in February 2012 after pleading guilty to a charge of accepting or obtaining corrupt payments. He admitted 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. Kaneria has continued to dispute his involvement in the episode.

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. It is believed Westfield is requesting some leniency with a view to returning to club cricket early and arguing that his decision to plead guilty in the original court case should be taken into account.

Because of an agreement between boards affiliated to the ICC, the ECB ban applied to Kaneria is effective throughout world cricket.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 1, 2013, 13:12 GMT)

@comment (chrisy??) on (July 1, 2013, 12:28 GMT), actually the burden of proof would be different, as would the evidencial requirement. It should also be noted that it is the CPS that decide whether to proceed with cases NOT the police, the police gather evidence and submit that to the CPS who then decide if there is a case to answer.

The chances are that there was insufficuent evidence to stand up in a court of law, however the ECB panel would not require such levels of confidence in the evidence, and there was sufficient evidence with the testimony of Westfield to take the action they did.

For example an employer can sack you for stealing, but they may not get the police involved in the case unless there significant evidence.

Posted by   on (July 1, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

@Clarke501. Thank you for the clarification. The logic is still more than a trifle baffling. The ECB panel found, in your words, "that Kaneria was the instigator and Westfield his accomplice. The relative sentences are consistent with this finding." However, the police had sufficient evidence to try Westfield in a British court of law and to convict him. They did not have enough to even charge Kaneria. Are you suggesting that the evidentiary standard of the ECB trumps that of a British court?

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 1, 2013, 10:37 GMT)

@Behind_the_Wicket, different events at different levels. Westfield got a lighter sentance as he confessed and turned states evidence on Kanaria, he also agreed to take part in education programs around spot fixing.

As it stands I doubt Westfield will be playing for any major or minor county any time soon, although he may get to play in a local league.

It should also be pointed out this is an internal disciplinary process of the ECB and as such is outside the control of UK courts as the ECB control the game in the UK, though he may be able to go through CAS to get the life ban lifted or reduced.

Posted by Behind_the_Wicket on (July 1, 2013, 10:04 GMT)

Can't understand Kaneria Punishment , Westfield only 5 year and he can play club cricket after 3 year of his ban. Mohammad Ammar , Mohammad Asif, Salman but not banned for life time then why Danish kaneria plentied with a big amount and life time ban even ECB couldn't prove it, It is bias.

Posted by shillingsworth on (July 1, 2013, 9:44 GMT)

@Chrisy - Kaneria has been found guilty of breaching the ECB code of conduct. It is not a matter on which a court of law can or indeed should decide.

Posted by MysterySpin on (July 1, 2013, 3:19 GMT)

Just to be absolutely clear I wholeheartedly agree with long cricketing bans for spot and match fixing. Those involved in fixing drag the game loved by millions around the globe into disrepute. How can we trust the outcome of results these players have been in?

However I do feel the length of the ban in Kaneria's case is disproportionate especially given that Salman Butt received just a five year ban, plus five suspended. Yes Butt and co. went to prison but I don't think 2.5 years in prison is as harsh as £100,000 fine & a life ban from all cricket.

A lifetime ban from all cricket is steep, yes it is partly to deter others but is a life ban including club cricket really necessary? Life time first class cricket ban, or given his age career killing 5 years perhaps, but I life ban applying to club cricket too is a bit overkill.

Posted by Krisy on (July 1, 2013, 1:46 GMT)

First of all, England did not prove that Kaneria is guilty in a court of law. It is strange PCB president did not bother to help Kaneria, while PCB he is asking ICC to reduce the punishment given to three other Pakistani players who admitted their guilt. Very weird and ODD on the part of PCB.

Posted by Chris_P on (July 1, 2013, 0:30 GMT)

@ SanjivAwesome. Is this correct? Anyone, & I mean anyone who treats our game in this manner should never be allowed to play it again. They disrespected our game & treated it this way, they should be treated the same way back. @keptalittlelow. He should never soil our great game again. @Syed_imran_abbas. What's unfair? That he has been found out & been banned by the governing body of the organization he fouled against? This has NOTHING to do with PCB. He was found guilty & therefore should take whatever justice is set.

Posted by shillingsworth on (June 30, 2013, 23:08 GMT)

@Khalid Ikram - The evidence considered by the ECB panel and their reasons for finding Kaneria guilty were published in full on this site. I don't see how the process could have been any more transparent. The panel found that Kaneria was the instigator and Westfield his accomplice. The relative sentences are consistent with this finding and the fact that Westfield admitted his guilt whilst Kaneria did not.

Posted by kc69 on (June 30, 2013, 22:49 GMT)

I think no one in PCB is interested in Kaneria. It seems his career is as good as over.

Posted by Charlie101 on (June 30, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

Westfield has cooperated with the police and the ECB and I feel his sentence should be reduced . It is now up to Kanaria , Butt and Asif to do the same and name the book makers and fixers so they can be prosecuted. I would then welcome back into cricket early.

Posted by Cyril_Knight on (June 30, 2013, 17:59 GMT)

Why is this the only case of match fixing found in English cricket? Answer: because the punishments are severe. Players will have been approached but they know that when caught they will never play professionally again. If other countries followed suit or even made it clear that penalties will be severe then players will not cheat.

The support given to Ashraful from his national coach was a disgrace. The silence and incompetence of the BCCI will only encourage poorly paid cricketers to take their chances with the bookies.

Time for ICC to firmly state global punishments for the match-fixers - a life ban from all cricket.

Posted by Whatsgoinoffoutthere on (June 30, 2013, 17:41 GMT)

Was Kaneria still present in the UK to be prosecuted? My memory says not. Also note he seems reluctant to return to take part in his own defence, leaving this to his legal team. He seems very keen not to be within UK jurisdiction for an innocent man doesn't he? I note also that his last international game was some time before his ban and that the PCB haven't exactly been vociferous in their support of Kaneria. Just makes you wonder, doesn't it...

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (June 30, 2013, 17:03 GMT)

kaneria seems to be suffering for justice. I would request PCB to back him as it appears to be an unfair punishment to me.

Posted by PAKisTANeee786 on (June 30, 2013, 15:54 GMT)

What-a-poor man, this guys was a gem of a bowler and look what the PCB and court of laws done to him. He got no support from PCB as this was his right, and furthermore was banned for life where his counterpart is serving his term and can play in the future. We really need to get these double standards out the game to protect these players. He is the best domestic bowler all around the world with whooping figures, he surely is an asset to world cricket. And god knows if that Kamran akmal wasn't the wicker keeper at the time he was bowling he would've still been playing for Pakistan.

Posted by Pyketts on (June 30, 2013, 14:54 GMT)

Westfield should be banned for life.

One question, it would appear that the ECB has done some form of investigation and must have found Kaneria guilty, you don't have to go through a countrys legal system to have a sporting ban.

Also, suspect that it's not the the ECB's choice if the CPS takes the case to court in England.

@keptalittlelow, if the above is true. I'm note sure it is justice he is after as he has already been found guilty.

Posted by keptalittlelow on (June 30, 2013, 14:32 GMT)

Kaneria's guilt has never been established legally in a court of law and yet he has been banned for life. All he is asking is justice.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2013, 13:45 GMT)

I find the ECB ruling to be puzzling. Westfield was tried and convicted and served time in jail; yet he is permitted to return to county and international cricket. Kaneria was never charged or tried or convicted or jailed; yet he is banned for life. Of course one must stamp out corruption in cricket, but the process must be transparent and consistent.

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