Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has been banned for life from playing in England after being found guilty of encouraging a teammate at his county side Essex to spot-fix.
An England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) disciplinary panel found the 31-year-old had urged Mervyn Westfield to underperform in return for money during a CB40 match against Durham in 2009.
Westfield was convicted of the offence in February this year and jailed for four months.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has recommended that the ECB should be implemented worldwide.
Kaneria’s ban comes into effect immediately although he has not played county cricket since 2010.
During Westfield’s trial, the court heard how the entire scam had been orchestrated by Kaneria, who had been at Essex since 2004.
But Kaneria, who played 61 Tests and 18 one-day internationals between 2000 and 2010, was never charged by the police on the grounds of insufficient evidence.
In handing down the punishment, the panel said: “Kaneria has made no admission, has shown no remorse and sought to cast blame on other plainly innocent persons.
“We regard him as a grave danger to the game of cricket and we must take every appropriate step to protect our game from his corrupt activities.
“Self evidently, corruption, specifically spot-fixing, in cricket or any other sport for that matter, is a cancer that eats at the health and very existence of the game.
“For the general public, supporting the game and their team within it, there is no merit or motivation to expend time, money or effort to watch a match whose integrity may be in doubt. The consequences of the public’s disengagement from cricket would be catastrophic.”
Kaneria has maintained his innocence throughout the process and has said he will appeal the ECB’s decision.
He told Sky Sports: “I’m very upset about this decision. They don’t have any proof against me. “I’m an honest man. I’ve been playing cricket with passion and love. I have done nothing wrong.”
The news comes just a day after Kaneria’s former teammate Salman Butt was released from a UK jail, having served seven months of a 30-month sentence for spot fixing during Pakistan’s tour of England in 2011.
– UKAsian Staff