Published: October 18, 2018 11:39:46 am
Former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria on Thursday admitted to his role in the 2012 fixing scandal that led to the imprisonment of former Essex teammate Mervyn Westfield. In a report in Britain newspaper Daily Mail, the 37-year-old, who was handed a life ban by English cricket chiefs that effectively applied worldwide, was quoted accepting his guilt in an interview to Al Jazeera television documentary.
“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,” he said. “I want to apologise to Mervyn Westfield, my Essex team-mates, my Essex cricket club, my Essex cricket fans. I say sorry to Pakistan.”
Westfield was imprisoned for two months at Belmarsh prison in London after he pleaded guilty of accepting $7,862 from an illegal bookmaker, Anu Bhatt, for conceding 12 runs in an over. Kaneria, was named as the “middle man” in the scam, who had introduced Westfield to Bhatt. He avoided any legal criminal charges with the English authorities citing lack of evidence.
The former right-armer, who last played for Pakistan in a Test match against England in 2010, further asked people for forgiveness. “I want to ask people’s forgiveness. Cricket has given me so much in my life and I want to give something back. 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 said.
Talking about reasons for why he continued to deny his wrongdoing, Kaneria said he did not had the courage to face his father. “His health was getting worse and worse. 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. I want to apologise to my father, who has always been a role model for me,” he said.
Westfield, who was banned from professional cricket for five years after being released from prison, accepted Kaneria’s apology and said that he never blamed anyone. “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 was quoted as saying by the Mail.
Kaneria took 261 wickets in 61 Tests at an average of 34.8. He also took 15 wickets in 19 ODIs for Pakistan.
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