Former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has finally come out in open and admitted his role in a fixing scandal for the first time, he also pleaded guilty for the same and asked for the chance to make amends. Kaneria’s role in the scandal eventually led to the imprisonment of his former Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield. Also Read - IPL 2021: One More Bubble For India Players Is Hard, Feels Former England captain Mike Atherton
After six years of denial, the 37-year old spinner spoke in detail about the whole cheating incident during an Al Jazeera television documentary. He was quoted by the Daily Mail, “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.” Also Read - ICC Test Rankings - Virat Kohli Retains Fifth Place, Rishabh Pant Breaks Into Top 10
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For his involvement in the scandal – Kaneria was slapped with a life ban by English Cricket Board that effectively applied worldwide. He last played for Pakistan in the Trent Bridge Test against England in 2010, and has not appeared in any first-class game since March 2012, with all major boards upholding the ECB ban under ICC guidance.
The Karachi-born spinner, who insisted he was repentant as he called for his life ban to be overturned, added: “I want to apologise to Mervyn Westfield, my Essex team-mates, my Essex cricket club, my Essex cricket fans. I say sorry to Pakistan.”
“I want to ask people´s forgiveness,” Kaneria added.
“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,” as quoted by Daily Mail.
The Essex pacer Westfield spent two months at Belmarsh prison in south-east London after pleading guilty to accepting Â£6,000 ($7,862) from an illegal bookmaker, Anu Bhatt, to concede 12 runs in his first over of an English county 40-over game against Durham in 2009. He conceded only 10, but still took the money.
Kaneria crime was to present the 21-year-old Westfield to the bookmaker – Bhatt. However, the Pak leggie avoided criminal charges because the English legal authorities failed to conjure up enough evidence for his conviction.
Kaneria also explained his part of the reason behind his repeated denials of wrongdoing was because his father had been suffering from cancer and died in 2013.
Meanwhile, Westfield told the Mail he accepted Kaneria´s apology, saying: “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,” added Westfield, now 30, who was banned from professional cricket for five years after being released from jail but has since played club and minor county matches.
“I hope that Danish finds peace and closure by doing this, and I wish him all the best for the future.”
Kaneria still remains the leading spinner in the history of Pakistan cricket in the Test format with 261 scalps against his name in 61 matches. He also bagged more than 1000 wickets in first-class cricket in Pakistan, a feat which is scaled by a very few bowlers.