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Justice for Kaneria

Updated July 12, 2013

THAT leg spinner Danish Kaneria is ‘deeply disappointed and disgusted’ with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)’s decision in rejecting his appeal against the life ban from cricket for his alleged role in inducing his former Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield to deliberately underperform is understandable.

The incident relates to a 2009 match when Kaneria allegedly asked his colleague to concede a number of runs in return for money in a county match.

The Pakistani bowler was questioned by the Essex police but no charges were filed against him.

The ECB chairman, Giles Clarke, has asked Kaneria to make a clean breast of the matter.

On the contrary, Clarke should himself come clean on the issue by releasing all the details compiled by an independent body that has led to this severe punishment. This would certainly help the Pakistani public to know the pros and cons of the report and come to a rational conclusion.

In the absence of such details, the ECB decision will be looked upon with a certain degree of suspicion because Westfield has been let off lightly and he has been allowed to return to club cricket from next year, while the Pakistani bowler has been deprived of his livelihood as a professional cricketer.

One would not be wrong in saying that this decision smacks of racism and brings into question the British sense of justice and fair play.

To rub salt into his wounds, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) never played any positive role in defending Kaneria and he was left to fend for himself.

As the highest Test wicket-taker with 261 victims, Kaneria should have been given at least some moral support by the cricket board. Kaneria’s case is totally different from that of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir who were all caught red-handed and duly punished.

The present PCB interim chief is urged to take up Kaneria’s case with the ECB so that he is at least allowed to compete in Pakistan’s domestic competition and earn a living from his trade.


Afridi’s selection

THE selection of Shahid Afridi for the WI tour is not at all on merit as claimed by the PCB.

Afridi’s performance over the last two years has been pathetic, both with bat and ball, domestically and internationally.

The logic for picking him for the tour on the basis of his familiarity with WI pitches does not hold water.

Is Shahid Afridi not familiar with Pakistani pitches where too his performance remained abysmal during the last two years?

His decision to retire from test cricket during a series and his antics of chewing the ball did not set a good example for others. Would any other cricket-playing country tolerate such behaviour from their players?

Indian cricket stalwarts such as Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan and Zaheer Khan, whose performance has been much better over the same period, have been dropped from the Indian cricket team.

As such, persisting with Shahid Afridi at the expense of younger and more disciplined all-rounders does not speak well of the selection committee.