Kaneria fails to get relief from High Court

PCB legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi told the court that as per PCB’s knowledge, Danish Kaneria has still not been cleared in the spot-fixing case by the Essex police Getty Images

Karachi: Jul 26, 2011

Pakistan’s discarded leg-spinner Danish Kaneria today failed to get any relief from the Sindh High Court, which has directed him and his lawyer to produce documents and materials related to the spot-fixing case in England last year.

The two-member bench of the court while setting the next date of hearing for August 18 directed Kaneria to produce the transcripts and tapes of the statement he had given to the Essex police last year when he was being investigated during the case.

“The court has said that either the transcripts or tapes be produced or a clear statement from his (Kaneria) legal counsel in London outlining the correct position of the case,” PCB legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi told PTI.

The PCB legal team also submitted its detailed reply to the petition filed by the discarded leg-spinner, in which he has said that the Board had given no reason for not clearing him to play for the national team.

The court summoned the PCB officials for the hearing to explain why Kaneria was not being considered for selection when the Essex police had cleared him in the spot-fixing investigation that was held last year over a match involving Essex and Durham in September, 2009.

Kaneria and fellow Essex bowler Mervyn Westfield were arrested last year on charges of spot-fixing during the Pro40 match against Durham.

Kaneria was later released without being charged but Westfield faces criminal proceedings.

“I have informed the court clearly today that the PCB wants to play Kaneria as he is an asset for Pakistan cricket.

But after the embarrassment we have suffered because of the spot-fixing scandal last year we can’t take a risk of playing anyone about whose integrity we have even small doubt,” Rizvi said.

“I informed the court that the PCB and its integrity committee was only acting according to the latest directives from the ICC on anti-corruption issues,” Rizvi added.

During the hearing Kaneria took the plea that the court should grant him relief by directing the board to consider him for selection for next month’s tour to Zimbabwe but Rizvi made it clear that the player would not be considered unless he satisfied the integrity committee.

“I read out the minutes of the integrity committee hearing that Danish attended in which he was told clearly that he must produce the statement he gave to the police last year or the tapes. We want to be sure what was on those tapes,” Rizvi explained.

Meanwhile, Farrugh Naseem, the lawyer for Kaneria said that while the court had given them one week’s time to produce the transcripts of the cricketer’s statement from the legal counsel in London but admitted that it would be a tough task.

“My client has tried to obtain the statement but due to the laws in the United Kingdom his legal counsel in London has told him this is not possible until the case is on in London,” he said.

Rizvi also told the court that as per PCB’s knowledge, Kaneria had still not been cleared in the spot-fixing case by the Essex police.

Kaneria featured in Pakistan’s Test series against England last year but has not been selected since then for international matches because he has not been formally cleared by the Pakistan Cricket Board.