Banned Pakistani cricketer Danish Kaneria calls for BCCI's help
Former Pakistan cricketer Danish Kaneria was banned for life from cricket. He recently revealed that he is living on his last savings and now seeks help from Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Kaneria was found guilty of spot-fixing while playing for an English county side Essex and had ample evidence against him confirming the claims, which resulted in his life-ban. He has so far contested the ban thrice but all the hearings have gone against him.
However, Kaneria still says that he is innocent and wants the BCCI to get into the matter and help him out. He said that he wants one last chance to prove his innocence and wants the Indian board to connect him to the International Cricket Council (ICC) as all his pleas have so far been in vain.
I am dying, I am living on my last savings: Kaneria
The former Pakistani spinner said, “I am living on my last savings. I do not know how long I will survive. I can even teach young Indians the art of spin, can’t I? Why can’t they call me? I am one of them. Everything else has dried up for me in Pakistan, I seem to have no takers for my appeals from the PCB. I am dying.”
The 35-year-old also said that the fact that he is a minority in Pakistan has played the major role behind the ‘injustice.’ He said, “It is because I am a Hindu, a minority in Pakistan. It is because I refused to admit my involvement in spot-fixing when the ECB charged me. I want to be heard, is it very difficult to hear me out?”
The cricketer also compared his case to Mohammad Amir’s. He said, “The Scotland Yard found no evidence on me, the ECB reacted on the basis on confessions made by one cricketer. Look at the way PCB has handled Mohammad Amir’s case. What about me? Isn’t that unfair?”
Interestingly, when reminded of the fact that Aamer had admitted his guilt and things preceded afterwards, Kaneria said, “He did because he was involved, I didn’t because I was not, I was not, I was not. It’s almost like punishing me for introducing Mervyn Westfield to Anu Bhatt.”
I am a victim of racism: Kaneria
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) accused him of being the influencer for the match-fixing case of English cricketer Mervyn Westfield and banned him for life. He introduced Westfield to Anu Bhatt, a business tycoon based in India, who was involved in illegal cricket betting. He also accused ECB of racism.
The Karachi-born cricketer said, “They blamed me for everything, I was out of the national selection but still played domestic cricket in Pakistan. I am blamed, punished for a crime I have not committed. When I appealed against the ECB ruling, Westfield did not even testify and yet, ECB was relying on his statements. Isn’t this racism?”
He added, “See what I have been reduced to by the ECB, the ICC and PCB. I cannot play any cricket which falls under the ambit of PCB. I cannot visit a PCB ground, nor can I train at their facilities. I cannot even meet my former cricketer friends. It’s like living under house arrest,”
Only BCCI can save my life, and whatever cricket is left in me: Kaneria
Kaneria still practices regularly, and believes that he still has cricket left in him and that the BCCI can help him save that and his life. He said, “Only BCCI can save me. Anurag Thakur (the Secretary) should consider my case and urge Shashank Manohar (the President) to speak to the ICC. Lift the ban, help me get an honourable exit. It will save me, my life, and whatever cricket is left in me.”