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