Former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has finally admitted that he was involved in the Westfield spot-fixing scandal.
Furthermore, his role led to the imprisonment of former Essex teammate Mervyn Westfield after 6 years of denial. According to a report by Britain’s Daily Mail, the 37-year-old, former spinner, accepted his guilt and role in the spot-fixing scandal in an interview to Al Jazeera television documentary.
“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,” he said. “I want to apologize to Mervyn Westfield, my Essex team-mates, my Essex cricket club, my Essex cricket fans. I say sorry to Pakistan.”
Keep in mind, Kaneria was given a life ban by English cricket chiefs that effectively applied worldwide and he was out of the field since then.
Leg-spinner Kaneria, kept on insisting that he was repentant on what he did as he called for his life ban to be overturned, added: “I want to apologize to Mervyn Westfield, my Essex team-mates, my Essex cricket club, my Essex cricket fans. I say sorry to Pakistan.”
Westfield was imprisoned for two months at Belmarsh prison in London after he pleaded guilty of accepting $7,862 from an illegal bookmaker, for conceding 12 runs in an over. Kaneria was named as the “middleman” in the scam, who had introduced Westfield to that bookmaker.
Kaneria, who had repeatedly denied any involvement in the case, was nevertheless banned for life by the ECB in June 2012 for “cajoling and pressurizing” Westfield into accepting money.
And now, finally, he has admitted his guilt.
Kaneria seeks forgiveness from Pakistani people
The former spinner, who last played for Pakistan in a Test match against England in 2010, further asked people for forgiveness. He said, “I want to ask people’s forgiveness. Cricket has given me so much in my life and I want to give something back. 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,”
Talking about reasons for why he did not accept his role, Kaneria said he did not have the courage to face his father. “His health was getting worse and worse. 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 apologize to my father, who has always been a role model for me,” he said.
Westfield, who was banned from professional cricket for five years after being released from prison, accepted Kaneria’s apology and said that he never blamed anyone. “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,” he was quoted as saying by the Mail.