Former Pakistani leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has finally admitted he was involved in the spot-fixing scandal more than nine years after the incident happened during the English county season.
Kaneria, with his teammate Mervyn Westfield, spot-fixed a county match back in 2009. In 2012, the England Cricket Board (ECB) had banned Kaneria for life for this crime.
Kaneria, told 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. I have become strong enough to make this decision, because you cannot live a life with lies.
His accomplice Westfield had confessed he accepted £6000 for conceding a set number of runs off an over in a match against Durham in September 2009.
Westfield pleaded guilty and was jailed for accepting corruption in the game.
Kaneria, however, was also arrested in 2010, but later released due to lack of evidence against him. The corruption charges against him were also dropped.
He was alleged to be the middleman between Westfield and the Indian fixer Anu Bhatt. Bhatt was also on ICC’s watchlist for similar reasons.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had also endorsed the ban against the leggie and was never allowed to play domestic or any form of cricket in Pakistan.
Since then, Kaneria had been crying foul and accusing the board of religious discrimination against him.
“I’m being mistreated by PCB (officials) only because I am a Hindu,” said former Pakistan Test cricketer in a media statement in 2016.
He has been pledging the board to review his case and allow him to play domestic cricket, at least; all in vain.
In a recent interview with Al-Jazeera, Kaneria admitted having known Bhatt since 2005 and keeping in touch with him ever since, despite continuous warnings from ICC’s anti-corruption unit.
Kaneria also confessed to arranging a meeting between Bhatt and Mervyn, who then agreed to spot-fix for a considerable sum of cash, as he knew his ambitions for money.
Former Pakistan cricketer went on to apologise to Mervyn, his team Essex, Pakistan cricket and his fans for his mistake and hoped for a second chance to make things right.
“I say sorry to Westfield, Essex, and Pakistan. If the ECB and ICC and other bodies would give me a second chance I can help to educate young people in cricket, teach them that if you do wrong you are finished like me.”