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Danish Kaneria Finally Admits To His Involvement In 2009 Spot-Fixing Scandal 

Danish Kaneria Finally Admits To His Involvement In 2009 Spot-Fixing Scandal

Six years after being banned for a spot-fixing scandal, former Pakistan cricketer Danish Kaneria has finally admitted to the offence. The leg-spinner has also apologised to former Essex teammate Mervyn Westfield, who was sent to jail after Kaneria encouraged him to get involved in the spot-fixing.

England and Wales Cricket Board had banned Kaneria for lifetime in 2012. And after years of denial, Kaneria confessed his wrongdoing in an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera.

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Kaneria begins his interview with a confession.

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

Danish Kaneria Finally Admits To His Involvement In 2009 Spot-Fixing Scandal 1
Danish Kaneria (Credits: AFP)

Kaneria’s international career came to a unexpected end in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal that rocked English cricket in 2009. The officials found him guilty of corruption and cheating. In its verdict, the tribunal had said that Kaneria posed a “grave danger to the sport”. The tribunal had also insisted that the disgraced bowler attempted to lure other players into the malicious act.

Kaneria did play a big role in the scandal. He was the one who enabled the fixing by introducing teammate Westfield to an illegal bookmaker Anu Bhatt. Westfield accepted GBP 6000 to concede 12 runs in his first over in a Pro-40 game against Durham in 2009. And although Westfield conceded only 10, he took the payment from the bookie.

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Westfield had later admitted that he took the money from the bookie for conceding a set number of runs off an over. He was jailed after pleading guilty to the charge of accepting or obtaining corrupt payments. Kaneria, who too was arrested along with Westfield, had his charges dropped due to lack of evidence.

Over the years, Kaneria had insisted he was innocence before his latest confession.  Kaneria confessed to meeting with Bhatt four years before the events of 2009 transpired.

“In 2005 on a West Indies tour, my assistant manager introduced me to Anu Bhatt, because he was a Hindu and he was a cricket fan/ Then we were on a India tour and over there, 2008 it was I think, Anu Bhatt invited the whole team for dinner, so me and my wife and other cricketers went to his house for the dinner.

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Danish Kaneria (Credits: AFP)

“The ACU came to Pakistan and told several cricketers and me that he is a suspicious guy and is involved in doing fixing. I regret very much, I didn’t complain to the higher authorities, like English Cricket Board or ICC unit. I didn’t inform or didn’t tell them this guy is over here.

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“Mervyn used to tell me that he wants to become a rich cricketer. I was highly paid in Essex, and I was an international player at that time. And I was living a life, a very lavish life, so he also wanted to make money. I think he was targeted by Anu Bhatt and I think he fell into that temptation. Being an international cricketer and a senior cricketer, I should have taken it one step higher of telling Mervyn that this guy is suspicious,” said Kaneria.

Kaneria represented Pakistan in 61 Tests and 19 ODIs between 2000 and 2010. He is Pakistan’s leading wicket-taker among spinners in Test cricket with 261 scalps.

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Danish Kaneria (Credits: AFP)

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