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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  • Chris on July 3, 2013, 9:55 GMT

    When Amir agrees to cooperate with the authorities and tells all then he might be considered for a sentence review. To date he has only pleaded guilty and he had no real choice in that. Amir has long road back that can only be started with a full and detailed confession

  • Jason on July 3, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    @Kak-mal_Khan, I personally think that Westfield should be banned from all cricket, and I suspect he will never be able to play FC cricket again as the counties in the UK wont touch him. He may get to play in local leagues, but his ban should have been held at 5 years.

    In regards to Amir, I still think he should not be subject to any slacking of the penalty, including access to PCB training facilities, he knew what he was doing was wrong yet still did it, and I dont buy the 'gullable/led astray' arguement either.

  • Ning-nong on July 3, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    I blame Kamran Akmal. If he held on to half the opportunities and took stumping chances off Kaneria, he (Kaneria) would have still been integral part of the Pakistan team. Also if Westfield can have ban reduced then what about M.Amir - People praising the ECB here, but Amir like Westfield had been victim of his own naivity, but admitted guilt and repented his actions.

  • Jason on July 3, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    @Chris_P, completely agree, the PCB by rights could also introduce such a sanction on Butt, the problem is that they washed thier hands once the ICC made its judgement, rather than doing the logical thing and ban Butt for Life, but they wont.

  • Peter on July 3, 2013, 5:47 GMT

    @disco_bob Incredible? Not when it is delivered by different bodies. The ECB showed the right way to deal with these indiscretions. The soft glove approach doesn't cut it nor offer enough to defer.

  • Ali on July 3, 2013, 1:14 GMT

    Life ban??? Isn't that too harsh?

  • disco on July 3, 2013, 0:54 GMT

    Incredible that Butt, a recruiter, groomer and serial denier for three years, gets a similar sentence as Westfield.

  • khurram on July 2, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    right decision. very few people actually come out and admit to wrong doing. everyone seems to go to court. remorse seems to kick in as soon as all other means are exhausted. ban all fixers for life. there is a lot of talent all over the world to keep the game in a healthy state. we cant be lenient when it comes to the integrity of the sport. i am a pakistan supporter but there is a huge part of me who doesnt even want amir back!!! playing international sport for a living is a privilege not a right!!! its time the players treated it as such.

  • Peter on July 2, 2013, 22:40 GMT

    Agree with both Haleos & Earl John. He soiled our great game & rightly deserved the punishment he received. Other bodies should note. Good riddance to Kaneria.

  • Dummy4 on July 2, 2013, 20:49 GMT

    Personally, I would've reduced the suspension to something like 40 years... If he's good enough to still be playing then, then he should have learnt his lesson & he would still serve as an example to others.

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