By Muhammad Asif Khan
Karachi: At the time when aftershocks of the massive jolt resulted by the infamous 2010 spot-fixing scandal were still being felt, a whole new episode unfolded to scratch the unhealed wound of the Pakistan cricket fans. In the latest development Test leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has been dubbed as the corrupter by the court in London where his former Essex County mate Mervyn Westfield was handed over a four-month jail sentence after his admission to accept payment to under perform in 2009 on the behest of Kaneria.
However the former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif, while expressing his displeasure over the development, feared a life ban for the leg-spinner. He also urged Kaneria to put up a fight to clear his name. “It is disappointing to say the least but even after Westfield’s claim nothing can be said about Kaneria with certainty however, in view of the strict ICC parameters, the rest of his career is in serious doubt now”, said Latif while talking to this correspondent.
“In case of a fresh inquiry, Kaneria should get to the bottom of this matter”, added Latif, who was the original whistleblower on the match-fixing menace in the 90s.
Meanwhile, another known voice against corruption in the game, Sarfaraz Nawaz had an entirely different reading to the situation. According to the former fast bowler the last-day twists in the case were ambiguous. “Westfield could have gone to jail for 5 to 10 years, therefore Kaneria was dragged in the case probably deliberately”, maintained Sarfaraz Nawaz.
“After getting clearance from both the Essex police and the ICC, the resurfacing of Danish Kaneria’s name in the case is fishy”, concludes Sarfaraz Nawaz
Westfield and Kaneria were questioned by the police after the Pro40 match against Durham in September 2009. Danish Kaneria was however cleared by the police in the following year.