KARACHI: Pakistani leg-spinner Danish Kaneria said Tuesday he was hopeful of winning his appeal against a life ban imposed by the English board last year for spot-fixing.
The 32-year-old was banned after an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) panel found him guilty of getting former Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield to concede a certain number of runs in an over during a 2009 one-day county match in return for money.
Kaneria’s appeal will be heard in London on Monday after it was initially postponed in December last year because Westfield did not appear.
“I am quite hopeful of a relief,” Kaneria told AFP before his departure on Tuesday evening. “There was no evidence against me and I have maintained that the ban was unjust and I will fight till the last.”
The scandal broke in May 2010 when Essex police arrested both Kaneria and Westfield, but the Pakistani spinner was released without charge and has maintained his innocence throughout.
Westfield, however, was charged and sent to jail for four months after a trial.
Before the incident took place, Kaneria was part of Pakistan’s national team and was the country’s best spinner, with 261 wickets in 61 Tests. He also played in 18 one-day internationals.
Pakistan had to endorse the ban as under International Cricket Council rules sanctions on any player from any member country apply in all other member countries.
Kaneria said he felt abandoned.
“I am left alone in this fight, no one has supported me,” he said. “The case has destroyed my career and my life so I appeal to my countryman to support me because I have not done anything wrong.”