Karachi: Former captain Rashid Latif has termed the Pakistan Cricket Board's refusal to clear Test leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, suspended for his alleged involvement in spot-fixing, for national selection as an "economic murder".
Kaneria has been suspended by the PCB from international cricket after he was investigated for spot-fixing last year in England over the Essex and Durham Pro-40 match in 2009.
The Sindh High Court is due to announce its verdict soon on a petition filed by Kaneria against the PCB's refusal to consider him for national selection, despite being cleared by the Essex Police and ICC.
"I think the PCB, with its strange and unjustified action, has not only deprived Pakistan cricket of a valuable asset but is also committing the economic murder of Kaneria, who has served the country very well and is still eager to continue," Latif said in a statement.
"He was, and still is, a match-winning bowler and more importantly, the Pakistan team needs him. He is the most successful spinner of the country, hence should be treated with respect," Latif added.
He pointed out that all over the world, cricket authorities take every possible step to preserve their players.
"By assets, I mean the players, however, in Pakistan, the ideology is just opposite. In the past, careers of numerous cricketers were ruined and unfortunately the practice continues," said the former wicket-keeper, who played 37 Tests and 166 ODIs.
"As far as his alleged involvement in spot-fixing is concerned, I feel the matter has unnecessarily lingered on. If Kaneria committed the crime he is accused of, then why did the Essex police and the ICC gave him a clean-chit?" he asked.
Meanwhile, indications are that with the new PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf due to assume office soon, Kaneria might soon get some relief and be considered for national selection again.