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Kaneria urged to 'come clean' after appeal loss

London, July 3, 2013 (AFP):

Former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria was urged to "come clean" after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) rejected his appeal against a life ban from cricket at a hearing in London Tuesday.

The ECB handed down the life ban last year after a panel found him guilty of inducing his then Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield to deliberately under-perform.
He got him to agree to concede a certain number of runs in return for money while bowling in a county one-day match in 2009.

After Tuesday's verdict, ECB chairman Giles Clarke, called who was also chairman of the International Cricket Council's Pakistan task force from 2010-2012, called on Kaneria to make a clean breast of the matter.

"It is high time that Mr Kaneria came clean about his involvement in these corrupt activities and stopped misleading the Pakistan cricket fans and wider public with his empty protestations of innocence."


Although imposed by the ECB, the now 32-year-old Kaneria's ban was effectively a worldwide sanction: boards under ICC jurisdiction have agreed to uphold punishments imposed by individual countries in such circumstances.

The scandal broke in 2010 when police in Essex, England, arrested both Kaneria and Westfield. However, the Pakistani was released without charge and has maintained his innocence throughout.

Legal proceedings against Westfield continued however. He spent two months in prison and the ECB banned him for five years from first-class cricket and for three from recreational cricket.

Although the ECB panel upheld Kaneria's ban in full it chose to 'vary' the sanction imposed on Westfield.

It ruled he could return to club cricket on April 1 next year, provided he took part in a "stringent" anti-corruption programme organised by England's Professional Cricketers' Association.

Kaneria has now seen two appeals against ECB charges fail after a CDC panel dismissed his case in April.

Clarke said he hoped this latest decision would serve as a "stark reminder" of the "life-changing consequences of corruption".

"We note, with regret, that Mr Kaneria has neither made any admission of guilt nor expressed any remorse for his corrupt actions despite the weight of evidence against him and the fact that, after two lengthy hearings, his guilt has now been resoundingly established on two separate occasions by two separate independent panels," Clarke said in a separate ECB statement.

"We urge him to apologise publicly for his past actions and to start the process of redeeming himself by supporting the Pakistan Cricket Board's anti-corruption initiatives and assisting the police and law enforcement bodies in the Asian sub-continent with the vital job of exposing and cutting off the primary source of cricket corruption, namely the illegal bookmakers such as those referred to in the appeal panel's findings in this case."

During his criminal trial last year, Westfield named Kaneria as the figure who induced him into accepting £6,000 ($9,000) from a bookmaker to under-perform in the 2009 match.

Westfield later accused the ECB, Essex and the PCA of failing in their duty of care to support him as he faced trial.

He only gave evidence at Kaneria's most recent appeal, in April, after ECB chiefs got a High Court summons that forced him to attend the hearing.

ECB chief executive David Collier tried to strike a conciliatory note Tuesday by saying: "Without Mr Westfield's stand, the corrupt actions of Mr Kaneria might not have been exposed.

"ECB will support Mr Westfield's efforts to rehabilitate himself and as part of this process hopes that he can raise awareness of the dangers of corruption in cricket."
Essex chief executive Derek Bowden said the county welcomed the "conclusion" of the case.

He also thanked the ECB's anti-corruption team "as well as those current and former Essex players and members of management who reported their suspicions of corrupt activity, and subsequently gave evidence in the criminal and ECB proceedings".

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