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Cricket: Kaneria loses appeal against life ban

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Controversial Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria failed in his appeal to overturn his lifetime ban from cricket on Friday.

Kaneria was banned last year for his role in a spot-fixing plot, but denied all involvement and immediately indicated his intention to contest the decision.

The 32-year-old was found guilty of "cajoling and pressurising" former Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield into accepting cash in return for trying to concede a set number of runs in an over during an English county Pro40 match in 2009.

Following the appeal hearing, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive David Collier hailed the decision to uphold Kaneria's ban, saying: "I welcome wholeheartedly the independent panel's decision to dismiss Mr Kaneria's appeal and uphold the earlier decision made by the Cricket Discipline Commission last summer.

"I should like to thank the appeal panel for their time and diligence in hearing this case and I congratulate the ACCESS unit for its work in support of the successful prosecution of this corrupt activity.

"Corruption has no place in sport and ECB will continue to be vigilant and adopt a zero tolerance approach in this area."

However, Kaneria has now launched a further appeal in which the length of his ban could be reduced.

"I am very disappointed with the decision made by the panel," he said.

"We are waiting for what are the reasons behind it and as soon as we know the reasons we will take some further steps."

Westfield served two months of a four-month prison sentence last year after admitting spot-fixing and was banned from professional cricket for five years.

The 24-year-old was summoned to appear as a witness, against his wishes, at the appeal after the ECB obtained a witness summons order from the High Court to force Westfield to attend to give evidence against Kaneria.

During his criminal trial last year, Westfield named Kaneria as the figure who induced him into accepting £6,000 from a bookmaker to under-perform in a match in 2009.

That evidence was key to the ECB's case in imposing their life ban on the former Pakistan leg-spinner but, feeling he was harshly treated in return by the governing body in terms of his own ban, Westfield refused to cooperate further.

With Kaneria's legal team arguing Westfield's original evidence was inadmissible at the appeal, the ECB took the last resort of an order to compel Westfield.

Kaneria's appeal hearing was due to take place last December but was postponed because Westfield did not attend.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said in July that he would be suspended from playing in his home country until the outcome of the appeal was known.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130426/cricket-kaneria-loses-appeal-against-life-ban-0