Kaneria banned for life
Former Pakistan legspinner Danish Kaneria was given a life ban from English cricket on Friday for his involvement in the Mervyn Westfield spot-fixing case, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said.
Westfield was given a five-year ban, although he will be able to play club cricket in the final two years of his suspension.
In a statement an ECB disciplinary panel said: "We regard Danish Kaneria as a grave danger to the game of cricket and we must take every appropriate step to protect our game from his corrupt activities.
"Accordingly, we are unanimously of the view that the only appropriate sanction in relation to both charges is one of suspension for life and that is the sanction we impose.
"This means from today Danish Kaneria is suspended from any involvement in the playing, organisation or administration of any cricket under the jurisdiction of the ECB."
The panel, who in an earlier statement Friday had labelled Kaneria a "liar", added corruption was a "cancer which must be rooted out of the game of cricket".
Kaneria's ban could signal the end of his career as the International Cricket Council's own anti-corruption code requires a decision based on a member board's domestic anti-corruption rules to be recognised and respected globally.
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat, in a statement issued from Kuala Lumpur, where the global governing body's board is meeting this week, said: "I will ask the board to remind all members to put in place appropriate mechanisms to ensure that the sanctions imposed on both players in this case are appropriately recognised and respected outside of the ECB's domestic jurisdiction.
"The need to protect the game from corruption requires every one of us, including the players, to remain vigilant and work tirelessly to that end."
County matches have become targets for fixers now they are televised live in Asia, where betting on cricket is illegal in several countries.
"The increased popularity and television coverage for various domestic competitions around the world requires much more than just the ICC to be vigilant and we acknowledge the ECB's efforts in this respect," Lorgat said.
Westfield was jailed for four months in February, but served two before being released in April, after admitting he accepted £6 000 to under-perform during a Pro40 match between Essex and Durham in 2009.
The now 24-year-old Westfield named Kaneria – arrested with him in 2010 but released without charge – as the link between bookmakers and players.
And the ECB panel agreed, saying: "We are left in no reasonable doubt that Danish Kaneria knowingly induced or encouraged Mervyn Westfield not to perform on his merits in the Durham match."
In a damning indictment of 31-year-old Kaneria, the panel, who also found him guilty of bringing cricket into disrepute, said: "We consider that in many respects the evidence of Danish Kaneria simply does not stand up to scrutiny and is plainly lies...In all these circumstances, we regard Danish Kaneria as a grave danger to the game of cricket and we must take every appropriate step to protect our game from his corrupt activities."
Westfield was charged by a three-man panel chaired by lawyer Gerard Elias and featuring retired former England one-day international bowler Jamie Dalrymple with bringing cricket into disrepute, a charge the seamer accepted.
Explaining the punishment handed out to Westfield, the panel said that had he committed the offences to which he pleaded guilty this year –when the education and training programmes put forward by the ECB and the Professional Cricketers' Association were in place – rather than in 2009, "we would have imposed a suspension of nine years".
The ECB panel said Kaneria, by his own admission, had introduced Westfield in a nightclub to Arun or Anu Bhatt an Indian businessman who, prior to November 2007, had come to the notice of the Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) of the ICC as "allegedly being heavily involved in illegal betting".