Karachi: Pakistan legspinner, Danish Kaneria, who is facing a worldwide life ban from all cricket, has accused the ECB disciplinary panel that banned him from English cricket last week of "discrimination" and "unfair treatment".
"The ECB panel found Kaneria guilty of spot fixing in county matches while playing for Essex and banned him for life and fined him 100,000 pounds and the International Cricket Council executive board that met in Kuala Lumpur this week on Wednesday also urged a worldwide ban for Kaneria.
"The ECB panel behavior was discriminatory and I am confident that we will win our appeal against the ban," Kaneria told PTI.
The legspinner has not played for Pakistan since September, 2010 as the Pakistan cricket board has not cleared him for selection because of the spot fixing allegations that surfaced first in 2010 against Kaneria and his Essex teammate, Mervyn Westfield. The ECB panel banned Kaneria on basis of evidence provided by Westfield who was also banned for five years.
"There was no incriminating or strong evidence against me.
Interestingly, even the Essex players who appeared during the trial didn't support the allegations made by Westfield," Kaneria said, who has taken 261 Test wickets.
"What surprised me and my lawyer was that the panel didn't push Westfield to produce proper evidence to support his allegations against me. It appeared to me as if they had taken a decision to ban me even before the hearing started," he said.
Kaneria said he was deeply disappointed by the ICC board call for a worldwide ban as he pointed out he still had the right to appeal against the ECB ban.
"Since 2010 I have also been facing the PCB integrity committee and have tried to do my best to respond to all their queries. I am innocent and I will fight to clear my name," he said.
Kaneria also spoke about his ties with the Indian, Arun Bhatia who is described as a leading bookmaker by the ECB panel.
"I remember meeting Bhatia for the first time in 2007 during Pakistan's tour to India when he invited the entire team for dinner. In 2008 a official of the ICC anti-corruption unit advised me to stay away from Bhatia which I did," he said.
Kaneria said his last two meetings with Bhatia took place in London in public places and the Indian never made any offer to do spot fixing.
The legspinner said his legal team would decide on the appeal after getting the detailed judgement from the ECB panel.