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#NoWayBack: Court of Appeal throws out Danish Kaneria’s appeal against life ban

Pakistani leg-spinner Danish Kaneria’s application to appeal a life ban for match fixing has been refused by the Court of Appeal in London.

Kaneria was banned in June 2012 for spot-fixing while playing for Essex in 2009.  The 33-year-old had denied any wrongdoing.

However, Court of Appeal judge Sir Stanley Burnton ruled that Kaneria’s application was “totally without merit”.

The decision means Kaneria has exhausted all legal options available to him.

Giles Clarke, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), in a statement said: “Kaneria acted as a recruiter of potential ‘spot-fixers’ and used his seniority and international experience to target and corrupt a young and vulnerable player.

“It is high time that Mr Kaneria came clean about his involvement in these corrupt activities and stopped misleading the Pakistan cricket fans and wider public with his empty protestations of innocence.

“We once again urge him to apologise publicly for his past actions and to start the process of redeeming himself.”

Kaneria – Pakistan’s most successful spin bowler – was implicated in the spot-fixing scandal involving his Essex teammate Mervyn Westfield, who was jailed for four months after admitting a corruption charge in relation to a limited overs match against Durham.

During Westfield’s trial, Judge Anthony Morris said the scam had been orchestrated by Kaneria, who spent six seasons at Essex from 2004.

According to the ECB, Kaneria had introduced Westfield to two Asian men. 

One of them was Indian businessman Anu Bhatt with whom Kaneria had been acquainted since 2005 – and from whom he had been warned away by the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption unit in 2008.

It was claimed Kaneria was there when one of the men offered Westfield money to bowl badly in a match at Durham, and was in regular contact with Bhatt over the subsequent days.

He was there again in the north-east the night before the match, and when Westfield received the £6,000 in a parcel in Kaneria’s car in Chelmsford, Essex after the deed had been done.

Despite the ECB describing Kaneria as a “grave danger to cricket”, he was never charged by police on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

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