Danish Kaneria Admits to Involvement in Spot-fixing Scandal

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 05: Danish Kaneria of Pakistan celebrates after claiming the wicket of Mitchell Johnson of Australia during day three of the Second Test match between Australia and Pakistan at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 5, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Danish Kaneria Admits to Involvement in Spot-fixing Scandal After 6 Years

On Wednesday, Danish Kaneria has admitted to fixing a scandal, which ultimately led to the imprisonment of his former Essex team-member, Mervyn Westfield, in front of millions of people on television. He has finally admitted after remaining in six years of denial and silence.

The Essex member was earlier given a life ban by the English cricket chiefs, which became effective immediately worldwide. After six years of silence, Kaneria said in an interview, “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.”

The leg-spinner insisted he was repentant as he called for his life ban to be overturned, added: “I want to apologize to Mervyn Westfield, my Essex team-mates, my Essex cricket club, my Essex cricket fans. I say sorry to Pakistan.”

Westfield has had to spent two months at the Belmarsh prison in south-east London, after he pleaded guilty to accepting 6,000 pounds ($7,862) from an illegal bookmaker, Anu Bhatt, in order to concede 12 runs in his first over of an English county 40-over game against Durham in the year 2009. Although he conceded only 10 runs, the man still took the money.

Sources state that Kaneria was the middle-man in the scam, who introduced Westfield to Bhatt, however, avoided charges when English legal authorities decided they didn’t have the evidence for a conviction.

Kaneria, who is now 37, remains Pakistan’s leading spinner with 261 test wickets.

“I want to ask people’s forgiveness. Cricket has given me so much in my life and I want to give something back,” he said.

“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,” he added.

Kaneria explained that part of the reason he denied the charges was because he didn’t want to embarrass his father who was suffering from cancer, and died in 2013.

“His health was getting worse and worse,” he recalled. “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,” he further added.

Meanwhile, Westfield became the bigger man and accepted Kaneria’s apology.

He said, “This whole chapter of spot-fixing changed my life, but I have never blamed anyone for the terrible mistake I made. However, opening up about my wrongdoing and telling the truth allowed me to move on.”

“I hope that Danish finds peace and closure by doing this, and I wish him all the best for the future,” he added.


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