Essex: County cricketer banned for life

FORMER Essex cricket Danish Kaneria has been banned from English cricket for life after being involved in spot-fixing.

The 31-year-old Pakistani was yesterday found guilty by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) of pressurising former Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield into accepting cash in return for trying to concede a set number of runs in an over during a Pro 40 match in 2009.

The ECB described him as a “grave danger to the game of cricket” and they expect his ban to be extended worldwide by the International Cricket Council.

In a statement, the ECB’s disciplinary panel said; “We regard Danish Kaneria as a grave danger to the game of cricket and we must take every appropriate step to protect our game from his corrupt activities.

“Accordingly, we are unanimously of the view that the only appropriate sanction in relation to both charges is one of suspension for life and that is the sanction we impose.”

Westfield, who admitted a charge of receiving a reward which could bring him or the game of cricket into disrepute, has been suspended for five years.

In February Westfield was sentenced to four months in prison after admitting a spot-fixing charge at the Old Bailey.

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Kaneria played for Essex County Cricket Club between 2004 – 2010 as an overseas player and agreed to abide by the ECB’s Rules Regulations and Directives whilst registered there.

He was found guilty on two charges - of knowingly inducing and encouraging Westfield not to perform on his own merits in the Pro 40 match against Durham in 2009, and of bringing the game into disrepute.

“As we have found, (Kaneria’s offences) involve the deliberate corruption of a young and vulnerable player (Westfield) and, we are satisfied, various attempts to involve others in the net of corruption,” the panel statement read.

“As a senior international player of repute he plainly betrayed the trust reposed in him in his dealings with fellow team-mates and we regard his persistent efforts to recruit spot-fixers as being a seriously aggravating factor in his case.

“Significant sums of money doubtless flow from corrupt activities such as those which we have examined this week, and we have no doubt that those involved in making such corrupt financial gains spare no thought either for those they corrupt or for the integrity of the game.

“Kaneria has made no admission, has shown no remorse and sought to cast blame on other plainly innocent persons.

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