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Kaneria appeal rejected by UK court

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Danish Kaneria has had his latest appeal against a life ban dismissed © AFP
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Danish Kaneria has had his latest appeal against a life ban imposed by the ECB dismissed.

Kaneria had sought to overturn the ruling in the UK Commercial Court but his case was rejected by Justice Nicholas Hamblen in a ruling delivered on Tuesday.

Kaneria was banned for life by the ECB in 2012 in relation to the Mervyn Westfield spot-fixing case. The suspension is applicable globally under any board affiliated to the ICC, although Kaneria, who has repeatedly denied involvement in corruption, has been playing T20 cricket in the USA.

An appeal under the ECB's regulations was unsuccessful last year but Kaneria continued to pursue the case through the Commercial Court, a subdivision of the High Court that deals with business disputes. Costs of £100,000 imposed upon Kaneria were also upheld by Justice Hamblen, who ruled that the ECB had not exceeded its powers in imposing the ban. Kaneria was not present to hear the ruling.

The ECB once again urged Kaneria to admit his involvement in spot-fixing, with David Collier, the chief executive, calling for the former Test spinner to "publicly admit his guilt".

"This judgment re-affirms the previous findings of guilt and recognises that the two Cricket Discipline Commission Panels' decisions to impose a life ban were proportionate to the seriousness of the offences," Collier said in a statement. "It also makes it abundantly clear that there was no error of law or irregularity involved in the disciplinary process.

"This case has now been considered by two different independent panels and an experienced High Court Judge. Today's decision supports the outcome of the earlier hearings both of which led to a finding that Mr Kaneria acted as a recruiter of spot-fixers and exploited his status as an international player to engage a young county professional, Mervyn Westfield, in corrupt activity.

"Once again, in the light of Justice Hamblen's ruling today and the overwhelming weight of evidence laid against him, we would urge Mr Kaneria to publicly admit his guilt in this matter, apologise for betraying the trust of his former team-mates at Essex and ask him to co-operate with both ECB and ICC in their ongoing efforts to root out corrupt activities within cricket."

Westfield was given a four-month prison sentence in 2012 after admitting to accepting payment in order to concede a certain number of runs off an over during a televised 40-over match in 2009. During his trial, he named Kaneria as the man who induced him to take part in fixing. Westfield has served his ban from cricket and now takes part in a programme of education arranged by the Professional Cricketers' Association.

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