Spot-fixing August 14, 2013

Kaneria launches another appeal

Danish Kaneria has filed an appeal against his lifetime ban in the Commercial Court in the United Kingdom and has sought for a publicly open proceeding against his sentence.

Kaneria, 32, was banned by an ECB disciplinary panel in June last year after he was found guilty of corruption while playing with Essex in 2009. The ECB handed down a lifetime ban and costs of £100,000 were imposed on Kaneria. He subsequently appealed against the conviction but that was dismissed while the appeal against the sanction and costs is still pending.

The Commercial Court deals with complex cases arising out of business disputes, both national and international.

"I have launched my appeal today before the UK's commercial court," Kaneria told ESPNcricinfo. "I want to be heard by an independent judiciary and want all the proceedings open in public. I have nothing to hide and want everything to be open. I have suffered a lot and my case never was heard fairly by the ECB."

ESPNcricinfo understands that the ECB remains very confident in the strength of their case.

Kaneria, who played for Essex for six seasons between 2004-2010, was convicted of "cajoling and pressurising" team-mate Mervyn Westfield into accepting cash to concede a set number of runs in a Pro40 match against Durham in 2009.

Westfield was later charged by police and found guilty of spot fixing. He was given a four-month prison term and the same day Kaneria was named as the go-between who had also approached other players about fixing.

However, the police took no action against him and it was left to the ECB to lay disciplinary charges with their case depending heavily on the evidence provided by Westfield as a witness. The ECB went to the High Court to get a summons which forced Westfield to give evidence at Kaneria's initial appeal in April after it emerged he was reluctant to do so.

Kaneria is currently banned from the game internationally because the ICC's anti-corruption code states that decisions based on a domestic board's regulations should be upheld by boards around the world. He has repeatedly denied all involvement.

Rashid Latif, the former Pakistan captain, has been one of the most vocal supporters for Kaneria and has made some strong claims about how the ECB handled the case. "Right from the onset I had my doubts on the approach adapted by the ECB in the spot-fixing case against Kaneria and the more I dug into it, the more I realised that there is a deeper truth behind all that have been presented before the general public.

"Since it was a jolt for the English cricket structure as one of their own players got in a fix they went all out to bail their own player [Mervyn Westfield] out, and in the process made Kaneria the scapegoat with a sole purpose to safeguard their own ego."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ian on August 15, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Let's get it all in the open. I sense that so much depends on Westfield's evidence/ testimony - and the extent to which it can be believed. The ECB seems to know, or be certain of facts, more than those currently in the public domain. If there is one matter that bedevils justice in this world, it is a lack of transparency. Until all appeals have been exhausted, Kaneria has the right to be heard; it's called natural justice, I believe.

  • Jason on August 15, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    Rashid is entitled to his opinion, but the case did not just rest on the word of one player. I believe that the ECB also had statements from the players that named Westfield, there is the contact that Kaneria maintained with a individual the ICC ACSU had told him to stop communicating with.

  • Dummy4 on August 14, 2013, 17:58 GMT

    I agree with Rashid Latif and his theory. It is smart thinking.

  • Dummy4 on August 14, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    A simple question. If he was found guilty then why didn't police arrest him like Westfield? While Westfield is arrested but not banned for life. How much blind do you have to be not to see the stupidity and biasness surrounding the whole fiasco?

  • Dummy4 on August 14, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    Desperate claim from Latif. Westfield went to prison for his crime. I believe the ECBs handling of the Kaneria case was in fact hampered by the fact that they wouldn't negotiate Westfield's 5 year ban in exchange for him willingly giving evidence to their enquiry - that is hardly bailing him out of the situation in my opinion.

  • OMAR on August 14, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    Although I am totally against fixing but one need to give a proper chance to prove his innocence. What proof ECB have against Kaneria, they need to make it public and let the court decides the action it needs to take.

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