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July 3, 2013
Pakistan legspinner Danish Kaneria has said he is "disgusted" by the ECB's decision to uphold his lifetime ban from cricket for spot-fixing and claims he has been victimised when there was no evidence to support the case.
Kaneria has now been urged to publicly admit his role in spot-fixing, but he believes there has been double standards at work after Mervyn Westfield had his ban amended so that he is able to play club cricket from April 1, 2014.
Kaneria was banned in June 2012 after being found guilty of corruption in the spot-fixing case involving Westfield, where he had been "cajoling and pressurising'' his Essex team-mate into accepting money to concede a set number of runs in an over during a Pro40 match in 2009. He had been hoping to get the sanction reduced, having earlier lost another appeal against the convictions in April.
"I am deeply disappointed and disgusted with the decision," Kaneria said. "I have been victimised in this case and Westfield got his ban relaxed. Right from the outset there was no evidence against me and not even the Essex police charged me, but the ECB has been unjust towards me and it's unacceptable.
"I feel alone and at times I feel that because I am from a minority, people don't support me. The PCB has not supported me in the case. I appeal to Pakistan President [Asif Ali] Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to please take up my case with England. I want to play cricket and don't want to be stopped because of this unjust ban."
Kaneria said the PCB had set a precedent by asking for the ICC to allow Mohammad Amir, who was also banned following the 2010 Lord's Test, to use national training facilities. "If they can raise a voice for one player why can't they contest my case with England?" Kaneria said.
However, Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, said that Kaneria should now fully reveal his role in the events and use his experiences to help Pakistan's anti-corruption processes. Last week the former Pakistan captain Salman Butt admitted for the first time his role in the 2010 spot-fixing at Lord's, in an attempt to earn his career.
Clarke said: "We note, with regret, that Mr Kaneria has neither made any admission of guilt nor expressed any remorse for his corrupt actions despite the weight of evidence against him and the fact that, after two lengthy hearings, his guilt has now been resoundingly established on two separate occasions by two separate independent panels.
"It is high time that Mr Kaneria came clean about his involvement in these corrupt activities and stopped misleading the Pakistan cricket fans and wider public with his empty protestations of innocence.
"We urge him to apologise publicly for his past actions and to start the process of redeeming himself by supporting the Pakistan Cricket Board's anti-corruption initiatives and assisting the police and law enforcement bodies in the Asian subcontinent with the vital job of exposing and cutting off the primary source of cricket corruption, namely the illegal bookmakers such as those referred to in the Appeal Panel's findings in this case."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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