`Whistleblower` Latif urges PCB not to force Kaneria to plead guilty to spot fixing

Islamabad, Aug 25 (ANI): Former Pakistani captain Rashid Latif has urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) not to force leg-spinner Danish Kaneria to plead guilty to spot-fixing allegations until he has exhausted all legal options available to him.

According to the Daily Times, a disciplinary panel of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) banned Kaneria for life last year after he was convicted of luring Essex teammate Mervyn Westfield in to conceding a set number of runs in exchange for money during a 2009 country match.

The report further said that Kaneria had launched an appeal last week against the ban after earlier appeals to the ECB were rejected.

Although the PCB has urged Kaneria to end his legal battle and confess in order to end the controversy over a wake of series of fixing scandals, Latif, however, said that there are still questions over Kaneria's conviction, and requested the PCB not to force Kaneria to accept his guilt until his appeal at all forums are exhausted.

Meanwhile, the former wicketkeeper, who as a player blew the whistle on match fixing teammates, had alleged that an Indian bookmaker named Anu Bhatt was hosted as a guest of the PCB in 2005 and 2006, although the claim was rejected by the board.

Stating that he is ready to answer the PCB's notice to prove his allegations, Latif also said that he will offer to share the evidence in private in the presence of legal advisers so that no one is wrongly involved if these evidences go public, adding that as Bhatt is a central figure in Kaneria's case, he will not talk about the matter publicly.

Latif also wondered at the fact that the PCB has not sought clemency in the case of Kaneria unlike Mohammad Aamir, who along with former captain Salman Butt and fast bowling teammate Mohammad Asif, was banned in a 2010 spot-fixing case.

Admitting that he has put his 'clean' reputation on stake, Latif, who has played 37 Test and 166 one-day matches, also said that he has taken up Kaneria's case after much thinking and going through all the relevant documents. (ANI)

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