‘My name is Danish Kaneria and I am guilty’: Ex-Pakistan cricketer admits role in fixing scandal

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Six years after he was banned for life, former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has finally admitted his guilt in the spot-fixing case involving former Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield.

The fixing scandal led to the imprisonment of Westfield while Kaneria was given a life ban by England’s cricket board ending his career.

Kaneria admitted his role in the scandal in an Al Jazeera TV documentary.

“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 told Al Jazeera.

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“I have become strong enough to make this decision, because you cannot live a life with lies.”

The 37-year-old added: “I want to apologise to Mervyn Westfield, my Essex team-mates, my Essex cricket club, my Essex cricket fans. I say sorry to Pakistan.”

Westfield, 23 at the time, had admitted to accepting 6000 pounds in return for conceding 12 runs in an over during a Pro40 match against Durham in September 2009. He was jailed after pleading guilty to the charge of accepting or obtaining corrupt payments.

Kaneria was the “middle-man” in the scam, having introduced Westfield to the bookie Anu Bhatt, who was on the ICC radar for being a person involved in illegal betting.

Kaneria was also arrested but but avoided criminal charges when English legal authorities decided they lacked the evidence for a conviction.

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, Pakistan’s leading spinner with 261 Test wickets, has not appeared in any first-class game since March 2012, with all major boards upholding the ECB ban under International Cricket Council guidance.

Kaneria had protested his innocence in the matter several times over the years and appealed repeatedly – and unsuccessfully – to have his life ban revoked.

Kaneria said that part of the reason he maintained his innocence at the time was that his father – who died of cancer in 2013 – had been in poor health. “His health was getting worse and worse,” Kaneria said. “I didn’t have the courage to face him and tell him that I was wrong. He was a very, very proud guy. Very, very proud of me and what I did, representing Pakistan, representing my country.”

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