Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria turns to BCCI for help

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Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria turns to BCCI for help

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Amlan Majumdar

06/03/2016

Pakistani leggie Danish Kaneria has appealed to the BCCI to help him restore his honour, “because they have the power to do so”. The 35-year-old, who was banned by the ECB for life for allegedly indulging in spot-fixing in a NatWest Pro40 game, has claimed that the PCB has discriminated against him.

Pakistan’s one of the most successful spinner ever with 261 wickets in 61 Tests, Danish Kaneria was banned four years ago in an alleged spot-fixing case. He has been struggling to ‘restore his honour’ and return to the game, but has barely received any help from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) or the International Cricket Council(ICC).

Kaneria, who is only the second Hindu to play for the Pakistan National side after Anil Dalpat, is now on a religious trip to India. As a part of this trip, he has visited Shirdi, Trimbakeshwar, Siddhivinayak, Mahalaxmi and Mumbadevi temples.

“I plan to go to the land of my forefathers, Surat too," Kaneria told TOI during an exclusive interview. His visit has raised speculation that he might move to India. But Pakistan’s fourth highest wicket-taker has dismissed these reports.

"This is such loose talk. I've received so much love in Pakistan, it is just that the PCB has discriminated against me. If I wanted to seek asylum here, why would I leave my kids behind in Karachi. I've come here with my mother and wife,” he told TOI.

However, Kaneria has urged the BCCI to help him out from his predicament. He said, "I've got so much love from India every time I come here. Though I'm not scheduled to meet any BCCI officials, I won't mind meeting them on this trip. I appeal to the Indian board to help me out, because they've the power to do so”.

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While talking about his ordeal since Essex teammate Murray Westfield named him as the man who introduced him to an Indian bookie, Kaneria turned emotional. Westfield was let off after he pleaded guilty, but the Pakistani was banned for life after he refused to admit to the allegations. "The trial was launched two years after the Scotland Yard cleared me. It was biased against me, since they (ECB) seemed to have struck a deal with Westfield to protect him. During the trial, when I told them that my father was suffering from cancer, the ECB attorney said 'we don't care whether your father lives or dies.' Such was their attitude," Kaneria recounted.

"The PCB toed the line of ECB, and banned me too. Ironically, the (in) famous spot-fixing scandal of 2010 in England came after I was pulled out of the Pakistan team at ECB's insistence, despite having provided the PCB all documents to prove my innocence. Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir were supposed to ambassadors of the game, but look at what they did," said Kaneria, who is clearly unhappy with the move to end the bans of the trio, while he is still suffering.

"You've now given an example to a teenaged cricketer that even if you get caught doing this, you can be let off on grounds of sympathy," he pointed out. When the TOI reporter suggested that perhaps, the ICC took a lenient view on the matter since they pleaded guilty to their crime, Kaneria retorted "Did they have a choice? They were caught red-handed. Why should I admit what I haven't done?".

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