Kaneria says no to PCB hearing on allegations
Danish Kaneria, the Pakistan leg-spinner, has refused to attend a meeting requested by the Pakistan Cricket Board's integrity committee over charges in the UK against him relating to fixing. His legal team has instead cited its desire to focus on his disciplinary hearing in this context with the ECB, scheduled for later this month.
Kaneria faces charges of breaching the ECB's anti-corruption directives during his county stint with Essex and disciplinary proceedings will begin on May 21 in England. His legal team has submitted a preliminary reply to the ECB, once again denying the charges against the bowler.
Following his questioning by the Essex police with regards to this issue in March last year, he hasn't been considered for selection for Pakistan, and will only be picked once cleared by the board's integrity committee. The PCB's legal advisor, Taffazul Rizvi, said the committee had summoned him in this regard. "He is still a Pakistan bowler and has been playing domestic cricket. He is due to appear before the integrity committee but his counsel has refused, hence the matter of his integrity is still undecided," Rizvi told ESPNcricinfo. "We are awaiting his reply to our queries regarding [Mervyn] Westfield and the spot-fixing allegations. We contacted him, asking him to submit to us the documents and investigation tapes or transcripts of the police investigation in England, but he is yet to respond."
Kaneria's lawyer, Farogh Naseem, said it was 'uncertain' why Kaneria had been summoned by the PCB. "We have been approached by the PCB for an uncertain reason," he told ESPNcricinfo. "I don't know what their intentions are, but we would like to go and contest the ECB's disciplinary case alone without engaging them [PCB].
"There is no point in appearing before the PCB, as we are focussing on the ECB hearing. We have submitted our preliminary reply to the ECB disciplinary panel. There are a number of unfair charges and we will contest them during the hearing."
After his questioning by the Essex police, Kaneria was released on grounds of insufficient evidence. He has since been implicated in the matter once again, after he was presented as the influential figure who led Mervyn Westfield (his team-mate at Essex, who was jailed for four months after being found guilty of spot-fixing) astray in a London court.
Kaneria, 31, has claimed 261 wickets in 61 Tests for Pakistan, making him the fourth most successful bowler in their history. ESPNcricinfo understands that the PCB wants to take a call on the bowler, and would like to give him an opportunity to defend himself and explain the issues marring his reputation before taking their call.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent