Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Danish Kaneria dejected on “unfair” treatment

By Muhammad Asif Khan

KARACHI: Pakistan’s most successful Test spinner, Danish Kaneria got the jolt of his life last week when the disciplinary panel constituted by the English Cricket Board (ECB), handed down a life ban to him after describing him (Kaneria) as a grave danger to the game of cricket.

However, the lanky leg-spinner is of the view that he was treated unfairly during the 5-day trial during which, according to him, the behaviour of the disciplinary panel was also “discriminatory”.

Kaneria’s Essex county teammate Westfield served a two-month jail sentence after pleading guilty to spot-fixing during a pro-40 match in 2009.

Westfield, during criminal proceedings in a London court, admitted to have underperformed allegedly on the behest of Danish Kaneria. Although, the Essex Police never charged Kaneria in that case due to lack of evidence.

“The panel did not bother asking for evidence from Westfield to support his allegations against me. It was obvious that they had decided even before the commencement of the trial”, maintained Kaneria while talking to this correspondent for News One TV.

“Even the Essex players, appeared before the panel did not support the claims of Marven Westfield”, added Kaneria

On his alleged relationship with an Indian bookie, Anu Bhatt, the 31-year old leg-spinner said that he met with him (Bhatt) twice in his life and both the meetings were at public places. While admitting that the ICC’s ACSU official, Allan Peacock had warned him about the dubious activities of Bhatt, Kaneria added that the warning was ‘verbal’ which he said was adhered to as well.

“I met Anu Bhatt in 2007 for the first time when he invited the Pakistan team for dinner during Indian tour. Later in 2008, ACSU’s Allan Peacock verbally warned me to avoid Anu Bhatt, which I did”, said Kaneria, who represented Pakistan in 61 test matches since his debut in 2000.

“In 2009, I met with Anu Bhatt for the last time in England. The meeting was at a public
Place. In both encounters, Bhatt did not extend any fixing offer to me”, Kaneria recalled.

Danish Kaneria said that his legal team was weighing the available options, and would file an appeal – against the life ban – after receiving the detailed judgment from the ECB panel.

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