Kaneria may drag PCB to court

Kaneria's British lawyer Steven Haurigan told a press conference here yesterday that his client was under a great deal of stress and feeling frustrated at the failure of the PCB to tell him why he was not being cleared for national selection.

"Unfortunately we had asked the board for time to meet them and sort out this matter but they have turned down our request," Haurigan said.

"My client can't go and play county cricket in England although he has several offers from different counties simply because the board is not clearing him. He can't play unless the board clears him. We don't want a confrontation with the board but we also want them to tell us clearly why Kaneria is not being cleared.

"We don't want this matter to be dragged on but if the PCB doesn't reply I cannot rule out the option of taking a legal course," said the lawyer.

The PCB omitted the 30-year-old Kaneria from 30-man squad for next month's World Cup on the sub-continent and the Test series now under way in New Zealand, after his arrest last year in England on charges of spot-fixing during a Pro40 match between Essex and Durham.

He was later released without charge. The leg-spinner had been cleared by the ICC and by police in Britain.Kaneria, who has taken 261 wickets in 61 tests, was called twice by the PCB integrity committee for hearings in which he was told to submit documents related to his wealth, bank accounts and assets.

A tussle over a document pertaining to Kaneria's investigation by the Essex police last year led to the board refusing to clear him for selection.

Earlier the board had stopped him from joining the Pakistan team in Dubai in October for the Test series against South Africa although he was initially picked in the squad.
The PCB just said it couldn't clear Kaneria to play for the national team and later also didn't include him for the series in New Zealand and the World Cup.

Haurigan said he had submitted letters by the ICC and the Essex county authorities making it clear that they didn't have any objection to his playing for Pakistan and neither was he under investigation in any case.

"To us the situation is crystal clear but we don't understand why the PCB is adopting a different stand. I came down from London specially to meet them but so far have got no positive response," Haurigan said.

"You (media) can look at the letters that say the ICC has cleared Kaneria and there is no investigation pending against him and the Essex police and the Wales and England Cricket Board have also cleared him," he added.

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