Kaneria should have admitted his mistake six years ago: Rizvi

Leg-spinner called for his life ban to be overturned

Kaneria should have admitted his mistake six years ago: Rizvi PHOTO: AFP

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Legal Advisor Taffazul Hussain Rizvi has said that tainted leg-spinner Danish Kaneria should have admitted his mistake about spot-fixing rather than delaying it for six long years.

Kaneria finally admitted his role in the fixing scandal that led to the imprisonment of former Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield after six years of denials, Britain's Daily Mail reported late Wednesday.

Following that incident, Kaneria was given a life ban by English cricket chiefs that effectively applied worldwide.

Rizvi, while talking to Daily Express on Thursday, said that Kaneria should’ve admitted his role in the scandal six years back.

“He should have admitted his mistake six years ago,” said Rizvi. “We had concrete proof against him and if he had stopped lying, it could have benefitted him during the case.”

Kaneria, in an interview for an Al Jazeera documentary quoted by the Mail said: "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."

Leg-spinner Kaneria, who insisted he was repentant as he called for his life ban to be overturned, 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.

Now 37, Kaneria remains Pakistan's leading spinner with 261 Test wickets. He last played for Pakistan in the Trent Bridge Test of 2010 and has not appeared in any first-class game since March 2012, with all major boards upholding the ECB ban under International Cricket Council (ICC) guidance.