Kaneria Found guilty, banned life time by ECB

                              Former Pakistan and Essex leg-spinner Danish Kaneria was banned for life by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday after being found guilty of corruption.

“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,” the board said in a statement.

The sanction means the 31-year-old is suspended from any involvement in the playing, organisation or administration of any cricket under the jurisdiction of the ECB.

Kaneria was found guilty of encouraging or attempting to encourage Essex team mate Mervyn Westfieldto underperform in a match in 2009, the board said.

Westfield was asked to concede a set number of runs during his opening over in a county match againstDurham in exchange for a payment of 6,000 pounds ($9,300).

Kaneria was named in a London court in February as a go-between in a spot-fixing scandal that resulted in Westfield being jailed for four months.

The Pakistan bowler, who took 261 wickets in 61 tests, denied the charges. He was described in the ECB ruling as having “shown no remorse and sought to cast blame on other plainly innocent persons”.

“plainly betrayed the trust reposed in him in his dealings with fellow team mates and we regard his persistent efforts to recruit spot fixers as being a seriously aggravating factor in his case,” said the board.

Since the scandal came to light following his arrest in 2010, Kaneria has not played for Pakistan.

Westfield, who has been released from prison, pleaded guilty to the ECB charge of accepting money to underperform and was banned for five years backdated to Feb. 17.

However, he can participate in club cricket for the final two years of the suspension.

The ECB praised Westfield for his “courage” to testify although his record will forever be tainted as the first English county cricketer to be convicted in court for spot-fixing.

The 24-year-old, who took 11 wickets in seven first-class matches, provided core evidence that was central to finding Kaneria guilty.

It has been a turbulent time for the international cricket community with former Pakistan captain Salman Butt released from prison in Britain on Thursday after serving seven months of a two-and-a-half year term for involvement in a spot-fixing scam. ($1 = 0.6427 British pounds)

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