Karachi: The appeal filed by Pakistan's Test leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, challenging the ban for life from playing cricket in the United Kingdom, will be heard early next month by an independent three-member panel of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). The appeal filed by Danish against the ban imposed on him by the ECB disciplinary panel earlier this year is to be heard by a new three member appeal tribunal of the ECB in early December.
Sources close to the bowler, who was banned by the ECB disciplinary panel earlier this year for his alleged role in spot-fixing in English county championship, said he and his legal team were taking the appeal hearing very seriously as they realised this was his final chance. Tafazzul Rizvi, the senior legal advisor of Pakistan Cricket Board, confirmed that the ECB had also notified PCB about the appeal hearing.
But, he explained that the hearing in December would basically be a fresh trial for the leg-spinner. "It will be a reappraisal of witnesses and Danish can produce fresh witness in his defence. It will be a fresh hearing by an independent hearing as part of the legal process of the ECB in such cases," he said. Kaneria, only the second Hindu to play Test cricket for Pakistan, was banned for life by the ECB from playing in the UK for his role in a spot fixing incident that took place in a Pro-40 match between Essex and Durham in late 2009.
Kaneria's teammate at Essex, Mervyn Westfield confessed to the ECB disciplinary panel that he had been offered money to bowl wides in the said match and claimed that the Pakistani player had introduced him to the Indian bookmaker. The ECB disciplinary panel also ruled that Kaneria would have to pay a sum of 100,000 pounds as costs for the hearing. One source close to Kaneria confirmed that if his appeal was not upheld, the leg-spinner would have to pay the 100,000 pounds cost to the ECB.
"It is basically his final chance to salvage his career and clear his name when the hearing is held in December," the source said. He said if the appeal fails, Kaneria has no other way except to go to a crown court which would mean a lot of costs.
Kaneria, who played 61 Tests and captured 261 wickets, has remained underground since he was sentenced to the life ban which has also been implemented by member Boards of the ICC as per laws. The Pakistan Cricket Board has suspended Kaneria from playing any level of cricket until his appeal is decided.