Former Pakistani leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has admitted to the charge of spot-fixing leveled against him in 2009 during an English County match. For his offense, he was handed a life ban by the English cricket board, but he had always pleaded his innocence. Now in an exclusive interview with news channel Al-Jazeera, Kaneria has confessed that the charges against him were indeed true. Kaneria also admitted that he tried to convince his then Essex teammate, Mervyn Westfield, to join him, which led to the latter serving a two-month prison sentence.
Kaneria in the interview said, “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. I want to apologise to Mervyn Westfield, my Essex team-mates, my Essex cricket club, my Essex cricket fans. I say sorry to Pakistan.”
Kaneria who is now 37 also asked for forgiveness of the people and hoped that he would be granted amnesty to play the game again so he could educate the upcoming players in to not fall into the traps of corruption.
He concluded, “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. There are people who will do temptation to you, but you have to be strong. Go to a right direction, rather going to a short cut and making money in a short cut. It will end them where I am at today.”
Kaneria during his playing career for Pakistan was a highly feared spinner, playing 61 Test matches for Pakistan and scalping 261 wickets. He is the highest wicket-taker for Pakistan among spinners in Test cricket.