Kaneria launches appeal against ban

Umar Farooq

July 11, 2012

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Danish Kaneria after his meeting with the PCB integrity committee, Lahore, August 15, 2011
Danish Kaneria has appealed against a lifetime ban issued by the ECB for corruption © AFP

Danish Kaneria, the Pakistan legspinner, has filed an appeal against the lifetime ban handed down to him by the ECB for his involvement in spot-fixing.

His lawyers also confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that Kaneria has also appealed against an order to pay £100,000 in costs for the hearings, a charge that was not publically outlined in the ECB judgment.

Kaneria, Pakistan's fourth-highest wicket-taker in Tests, was handed the life ban by an ECB disciplinary panel for his part in the spot-fixing case involving former Essex fast bowler Mervyn Westfield. He had been found guilty of inducing Westfield to under-perform and of bringing the game into disrepute.

Last month Kaneria's legal team said they wanted an opening hearing for the appeal after describing the outcome of the tribunal as "pre-determined". Westfield provided testimony against his former Essex team-mate but Kaneria's lawyers contend that the legspinner was not given a fair hearing. They also indicated that a further legal appeal - potentially to the Court of Arbitration for Sport - could be pursued in order to clear Kaneria's name.

"We've got nothing to hide about this. It's not sour grapes that we lost a fair hearing," Steven Hourigan, who represented Kaneira, said. "We lost a hearing where it was pre-determined what the result was going to be. We're going to have an appeal. What we want is an independent observer to sit in and listen to the evidence. What we want is a fair hearing in front of an independent panel. We would want the press to sit in on the appeal and hear every word."

The PCB have said they will uphold the ECB's ban - as was agreed between all ICC member nations - and earlier this week the PCB's integrity committee barred Kaneria from playing any official cricket in Pakistan pending the outcome of his appeal

Westfield, Kaneria's team mate, pleaded guilty to bringing the game into disrepute and was given a five-year ban, although he will be allowed to play club cricket after three years.

Kaneria's Pakistan-based lawyer Farogh Naseem, told ESPNcricinfo. "The appeal cover not only covers the life ban but also against the £100,000 cost that was imposed as a part of the expenditure of all he hearings.

"There was no understanding before or during the hearing that we will pay the expenditure of all the hearings that took place. The cost along with the ban is unfair. They don't have any evidence against Kaneria and still the ECB passed an order against him."

Gerard Elias QC, chairman of the ECB disciplinary panel that found Kaneria guilty, called him "a grave danger to the game of cricket." Kaneria has continued to plead his innocence.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

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