PCB willing to assist ECB on Kaneria's role in spot-fixing case

Pakistani crickter Danish Kaneria was named in the Mervyn Westfield cricket scam that has rocked English county Essex Getty Images

Lahore: Feb 18, 2012

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will co-operate with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) if cricket officials in England decide to hold an inquiry into bowler Danish Kaneria’s alleged involvement in the Mervyn Westfield spot-fixing case.

PCB’s legal advisor Taffazul Rizvi said PCB observes zero tolerance towards corruption in cricket.

Kaneria, a former Pakistan and Essex leg-spinner, was named Friday in the Mervyn Westfield cricket scam that has rocked English county Essex. Kaneria has been accused of persuading the player to take part in a sports betting scam.

The 23-year-old Westfield was jailed for four months after he admitted accepting 6,000 pounds in return for conceding a set number of runs in an over during a Pro40 match against Durham in September 2009.

Kaneria was also arrested along with Westfield in 2010 but later charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.

Kaneria now faces the prospect of an investigation by the ECB.

“This match was an England domestic match, so it’s in the ECB’s basic jurisdiction, but since Danish is a Pakistan player we are obviously looking into the matter with a lot of concern,” Rizvi was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

“The stance of the PCB is one of zero tolerance towards any player with questionable integrity. The judgment of Westfield raised a lot of questions but in law everybody is innocent until proven guilty. A detailed inquiry is required and the integrity committee will resume its proceedings in due course. The PCB will be working closely with the ECB to get to the bottom of this matter,” he said.

Kaneria, however, was not stopped by PCB from captaining Sind in the Pentangular Cup final that started here Saturday.

Kaneria reportedly did not give an undertaking to return to England neither was he asked by the Essex Police to return to face any inquiry.

Rizvi said PCB wants to give Kaneria a fair chance to present his case.

“Even Westfield was suspended after he was sentenced so there should not be a knee-jerk reaction. The integrity committee has taken up a detailed inquiry proceeding and obviously fairness has to be followed in all proceedings,” he said.

Kaneria had always pleaded innocence and his lawyer, Farogh Naseem said the spinner had been cleared.

“At the time of the police inquiry, Kaneria was not charged and (was) cleared. The ICC cleared him. We feel that Kaneria was discharged in the case,” he said. (IANS)

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