Danish Kaneria launches legal action over spot-fixing charges

Danish Kaneria had earlier made it clear that he was innocent and no sanctions should be imposed on him Getty Images

Karachi: Apr 9, 2012

Troubled Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria mounted a legal challenge to charges that he was involved in spot fixing during an English county game between Essex and Durham in 2009.

The disciplinary committee of England and Wales cricket board, have summoned Kaneria and his former Essex teammate, Mervyn Westfield for a hearing on May 1st in London to face charges of spot-fixing in the game.

A London court in February has already passed a four month jail sentence on Westfield after he confessed to accepting 6000 pounds to bowl badly in the game.

The London court was told by Westfield and his lawyer that Kaneria told Westfield that a friend would pay him to cooperate in a spot-fixing scam – an allegation denied by the Pakistani player.

“In a reply sent to the ECB disciplinary committee my client has once again pleaded not guilty to all charges and will defend himself against all these allegations,” Kaneria’s lawyer, Faroog Naseem told PTI.

Naseem said Kaneria had in the reply made it clear that he was innocent and no sanctions should be imposed on him.

“We have also asked the ECB to extend the date of hearing at least to May 10th as my client’s legal team requires more time to study the documents submitted in the Westfield case,” Naseem said.

Kaneria, who took 261 wickets in 61 tests for Pakistan, was arrested in 2010 along with Westfield on suspicion of spot-fixing before being released without charge.

Essex didn’t renew Kaneria’s contract after the 2010 season and since September that year, the Pakistan cricket Board has also not cleared him for national selection as it still has doubts over his integrity.

Kaneria, who appeared several times before the board’s integrity committee, also failed in his bid to get the Sindh High Court to get the ban on his selection removed although the PCB has allowed him to continue playing domestic cricket.

Naseem said Kaneria had hired a legal team including himself and two lawyers in London to represent him in the case.

“We need more time to study all the evidence and documents which are over 400 pages,” he added.

Three Pakistani players — Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer — were jailed last year by a London court on charges of spot-fixing during the 2010 fourth Test against England at Lords.

Although Aamir has returned home after serving his jail term, he won’t be able to play cricket as the trio were also banned for five years by the International Cricket Council from taking part in any sort of cricket activity.