Essex spot-fixing trial: Kaneria fights to clear his name

Danish Kaneria, the Pakistan leg-spinner, is still fighting to clear his name following the Essex spot-fixing scandal.

The 30-year-old was arrested alongside Mervyn Westfield over allegations of spot-fixing in county cricket. He was released from bail six months later with no charge.

Kaneria has not played for his country since the controversial Pakistan series against England in the summer of 2010, during which Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif ran a fixing racket.

The spinner was not implicated in the scandal but was dropped after the Trent Bridge Test and has not added to his 61 Tests and 18 one-day internationals since.

He has since engaged in protracted battles with the Pakistan Cricket Board to have his name cleared and make him eligible for selection.

In October 2010, the bowler failed in an attempt to get a court order banning the publication of his name in connection with Westfield’s case.

After Westfield today pleaded guilty in a brief hearing at the Old Bailey, it appears Kaneria will have to wait for the full sentencing hearing on February 10, which will outline details of the case and may state why he was originally investigated.

It is understood that the PCB will await the details of the sentencing hearing to be heard before any formal decision is made.

Speaking to a newspaper in Pakistan recently, Kaneria, who has taken 261 Test wickets, said: “I am frustrated at the delay which has kept me from playing. When there is no proof against me why is the PCB not clearing me? It’s mental torture.”

The PCB also sidelined Kamran Akmal and Wahab Riaz after they were also mentioned in the Pakistan spot-fixing trial. However Riaz has now returned to the squad to face England in the current series in the UAE.

* Read coverage of the trial exclusively on The Cricketer website, and follow RDJ Edwards’s tweets from the court @Cricketer_RDJ

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