Kaneria admits role in spot-fixing scandal

Leg-spinner was banned for life by ECB for his role in the scandal during county season in 2012

Kaneria admits role in spot-fixing scandal PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has finally admitted his role in spot-fixing scandal, Daily Mail reported on late Wednesday.

The 37-year-old — who is banned for life for his involvement in the spot-fixing during county season in 2012 — said in an interview for an Al Jazeera documentary quoted by the Mail: "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 — who represented Pakistan between 2000 to 2010 — added: "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 spent two months at Belmarsh prison in south-east London after pleading guilty to accepting £6,000 from an illegal bookmaker, Anu Bhatt, to concede 12 runs in his first over of an English county 40-over game against Durham in 2009. He conceded only 10 but still took the money.

Kaneria was the "middle-man" in the scam, having introduced Westfield to Bhatt, but avoided criminal charges when English legal authorities decided they lacked the evidence for a conviction.

He last played for Pakistan in the Trent Bridge of 2010 and has not appeared in any first-class game since March 2012. He remains Pakistan's leading spinner with 261 Test wickets.

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

He added: "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."

The leg-spinner said he was fearful of embarrassing his father, who died in 2013 after losing battle to cancer. “This was part of the reason behind my repeated denials of wrongdoing. 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. I want to apologise to my father, who has always been a role model for me."

Meanwhile, Westfield told the Mail that he has accepted Kaneria's apology by saying: "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."