Them again

Yet another Pakistani cricketer finds himself at the centre of a corruption scandal.


Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Danish Kaneria has maintained an obdurate façade of innocence and plans to appeal his life ban from English cricket.

The other dirty party – Mervyn Westfield – was let off by the deciding panel with a five-year suspension in the last two years of which he will be allowed to compete in domestic cricket.

The ban for the 24-year-old medium-pacer was lighter as he pleaded guilty to the charge of having ‘received a reward, resulting from his conduct in the Durham Essex match, which could bring him or the game of cricket into disrepute’.

Kaneria’s response to the verdict was predictably brazen.  

"I'm very upset about this decision. For what reason they have convicted me I do not know.  It is a very, very unfair decision against me. I've come all the way from Pakistan to say the truth.

“They (the ECB) don't have any proof against me. I don't know why they are saying this,” said Kaneria, apparently exasperated by the three-man panel chaired by lawyer Gerard Elias and which including former England player Jamie Dalrymple.

The leg-spinner, who last played a Test match in the spot-fixing ravaged 2010 series against England, now faces a permanent foreclosure to his career since the ICC’s anti-corruption code mandates that such a ruling by any national board be recognized and respected globally.

The panel that handed out the penalty stated explicitly before arriving at a verdict that, considering the grave nature of the charges involved, a guilty ruling would be based on stringent analysis of evidence.

The emphasis on a thorough scrutiny of available evidence also resulted from Kaneria's preceding reputation as ‘a professional international cricketer of great repute and experience’ who had represented Essex for six seasons as an overseas player, and from the tendency of all testifiers to falsify evidence and minimize their own involvement in the scheme.

This is not the first time that Kaneria’s actions came to the notice of the authorities. He was, as revealed by Senior ACSU Investigator Alan Peacock, warned as early as 2008 to stay away from Anu Bhatt, an Indian businessman/ bookie who was considered to be “highly inappropriate company” for cricketers.

Kaneria had told Peacock then that he had known Bhatt since 2005 and had, with his wife, even dined with him at his India home. The former Pakistan leg-spinner said he started to regard Bhatt as a “dangerous” man after he was warned to stay away from the businessman by the ACSU.

All evidence indicates that the 61-Test veteran did everything but stay away. He kept up a steady association with Bhatt and his nefarious nexus, serving as a conduit between the bookie and susceptible players in the county circuit. In May 2010, Kaneria was arrested along with Westfield, in connection with ‘match irregularities’ in the 2009 season, but released without being charged.

This mess is the latest in a series of spot-fixing incidents that Pakistan have found themselves to be at the centre of. 

Following the now-infamous 2010 Lord's Test, Salman Butt (then skipper) and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer were investigated and jailed on charges of corruption secondary to spot-fixing.

Butt, after spending over two and a half years in an English jail, was freed recently. Aamer was released in February, after serving half his six-month sentence, and Asif let off in May.

County matches have now become easy target for fixers since they are beamed live into Asia, where betting is still illegal in most countries. In view of the risk potential for fixing faced by such below-the-radar games, ICC chief Haroon Lorgat lauded the ECB’s crackdown on the offenders.

“The increased popularity and television coverage for various domestic competitions around the world requires much more than just the ICC to be vigilant and we acknowledge the ECB's efforts in this respect.

“The need to protect the game from corruption requires every one of us, including the players, to remain vigilant and work tirelessly to that end,” Lorgat said.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game

The former England batsman will have to lead the franchise as he is out of the match against Bangalore with a finger injury. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Michael Klinger has revealed he felt compelled to leave South Australia after being told he would be only a fringe part of the Redbacks' plans for next season, and disputed the suggestion that he left… More »

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

The revival of Indo-Pak Test ties could take place in UAE. More »

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

'This time around we will hope to go few more steps ahead and actually get that trophy' More »

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Apart from the foreign players a lot of behind-the-scene activity has taken place in selecting the Indian domestic players. More »

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid and former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are among the owners of eight franchises of a new Indian… More »

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

Kiwi all-rounder wants to utilise the India leg to explore the country’s tourist attractions. More »

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Says his mother made him change his mind. More »