Danish Kaneria’s time in cricket looks to be officially over after his life ban was upheld by a Court of Appeal, reports BBC.
The former Pakistan leg-spinner was arrested in 2010 and banned two years later after being found guilty of spot-fixing while playing for Essex in a Natwest Pro40 game in 2009.
The court described the appeal as “totally without merit” in light of the weight of evidence against him.
Kaneria’s conviction was one that hit close to home, casting doubt on the ECB’s previous assertions that fixing had not penetrated English cricket. He was subsequently banned from playing in England and Wales, and was quickly exiled from the Pakistan side, for whom he took 261 Test wickets between 2000 and 2010. That record made him the Men in Green’s most successful spinner.
In a statement, ECB chief Giles Clarke added: “It is high time that Mr Kaneria came clean about his involvement in these corrupt activities and stopped misleading the Pakistan cricket fans…with his empty protestations of innocence”.
During his original trial, Kaneria was exposed as playing the role of recruiter in the spot-fixing process, targeting vulnerable players whom he believed he could corrupt.
Kaneria’s case provides a stark contrast to that of his co-accused and former Essex team mate, Mervyn Westfield, who has shown remorse for his actions.
While sentencing Westfield to four months in prison, the judge named Kaneria as the player who had instigated the spot-fixing. However, the latter managed to avoid a criminal conviction.
Westfield was paid £6000 for deliberately conceding ten runs off his first over against Durham, even though he had actually been asked to give away twelve.
Since being released, Westfield has spent time educating young cricketers about the dangers of corruption, and how to avoid approaches from spot-fixers.
Kaneria’s apparent lack of remorse seems to be a factor in his appeal being thrown out of court, while Westfield has been given another chance to play cricket by local Essex club Frinton.
The ECB appear determined to ensure that Kaneria is not allowed such a liberty. Although the 33-year-old would be coming to the natural end of his career anyway, he is desperate to clear his name.
New rules introduced earlier this year mean that because he is banned by the ECB, he is also banned from any authority affiliated with the ICC, so his ban is in effect worldwide. Kaneria lost an earlier appeal in April 2013, and has now exhausted all legal possibilities of appeal.