Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent
Danish Kaneria, the Pakistan legspinner, has lost his four-month legal tussle with the Pakistan Cricket Board in the Sindh High Court. A two-member bench dismissed his petition to be cleared to play for Pakistan, leaving his international career in limbo. The ruling came after an objection was raised by PCB lawyer Tafazzul Rizvi questioning the court's jurisdiction to hear the case.
"It was dismissed only because the Sindh High Court doesn't have the jurisdiction to hear the case," Kaneria's lawyer Mohammad Farogh Naseem told ESPNcricinfo. "We are yet to decide our next move but we have two options: either to appeal against the decision in the Supreme Court or to file a fresh petition in Lahore High Court (the city where the PCB office is situated)."
Kaneria has not been selected to play for Pakistan since October 2010 after he was questioned by the Essex Police in a spot-fixing case last year in England. In July 2011, he filed a petition in the Sindh High Court challenging the PCB's integrity committee's continued refusal to clear him to be considered for national selection.
"I remember Tafazzul [Rizvi], in the first hearing, raised the point of jurisdiction. If this was the legal constraint for the court then why should [the case] be so prolonged," a disappointed Kaneria told ESPNcricinfo. "In all this, a player is losing [the chance to play] cricket, while mental stress is another concern. I will decide my next move in due course. I am very disturbed by all this."
Though Kaneria was not charged in the spot-fixing case, in which his Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield faced criminal proceedings, he has not been cleared to play for Pakistan since the incident. The legal brawl sparked when the PCB integrity committee asked Kaneria to produce the transcripts of the Essex Police investigation. He appeared before the committee with his bank statements and other financial records but not with the required copy of the police interview transcripts, failing to satisfy the committee.
"To be very honest I don't have the tapes, my England lawyer Steve [Haurigan] has it, but the police had directed us not to share it with any third party since the trial of Westfield is starting from January. If we do so then it's contempt of the court.
"But still I gave my consent during the hearing that I have no problem if the PCB lawyer can get those tapes from the police," Kaneria said. "I didn't lie, I have a honest stance not only before the integrity committee but also before the court."
During the September 27 hearing it was decided that the PCB would write to the Crown Prosecution Service to ask for the tapes or their transcripts that required a court order, but there was a dispute during the October 20 hearing over who would bear the cost of the process. "We obviously wanted Kaneria to bear the cost of the process as this was his concern to satisfy his integrity," Rizvi told ESPNcricinfo. "If he wants to go to the Supreme Court or Lahore High Court then we will contest. But at the same time PCB has nothing against him. There are some integrity concerns over the player, just like with Shoaib [Malik] who was cleared after he came up with the required documents to satisfy the integrity committee."