PESHAWAR: Pakistan’s former leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has finally admitted his role in a fixing scandal that led to the imprisonment of former Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield after six years of denials.
Danish Kaneria, who was given a life ban by English cricket chiefs that effectively applied worldwide, said in an interview with Al Jazeera: “My name is Danish Kaneria and I admit that I was guilty of the two charges brought against me by the England and Wales Cricket Board in 2012.”
Kaneria apologised to Mervyn Westfield, his Essex team-mates, Essex cricket club, Essex cricket fans and Pakistani fans. He said his father was critically ill when he was caught and he did not admit his guilt fearing it may further complicate his father’s health. He said his father was proud of him for representing Pakistan. He said he cannot live further with lies.
Westfield spent two months at Belmarsh prison in south-east London after pleading guilty to accepting £6,000 ($7,862) from an illegal bookmaker, Anu Bhatt, to concede 12 runs in his first over of an English county 40-over game against Durham in 2009. He conceded only 10, but still took the money. Kaneria was the “middle-man” in the scam, having introduced Westfield to Bhatt, but avoided criminal charges when English legal authorities decided they lacked the evidence for a conviction.
Kaneria took 261 Test wickets for Pakistan in 61 matches. He last played for Pakistan in the Trent Bridge Test of 2010, and has not appeared in any first-class game since March 2012. “I want to ask people’s forgiveness,” said Kaneria.