ISLAMABAD: Members of a parliamentary committee on Monday alleged that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is not helping Danish Kaneria to fight his case against lifetime ban imposed by English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) "because he belongs to Hindu community".
“PCB is not providing financial and legal assistance to Kaneria because he is a Hindu by faith,” said PML-N lawmaker Ramesh Kumar Vankvani during the meeting of National Assembly's (NA) Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination.
The committee's meeting was chaired by Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party's Abdul Qahar Khan Wadan to discuss the various management and financial issues of PCB, including the performance of national cricket team.
Vankvani was of the view that Kaneria was being discriminated against and the PCB officials were not assisting him like they had helped other cricketers in the past.
Iqbal Muhammad Ali, member of the committee, while supporting the arguments of Vankvani said, "Kaneria has no money and cannot fight the case on his own."
“Kaneria has now himself said that he was being mistreated because he is a Hindu,” added Ali.
He urged the PCB to provide legal and financial assistance to the leg spinner so that he can pursue his case against lifetime ban in the court.
Responding to Vankvani’s allegations, PCB Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmed said: "According to anti-corruption codes of International Cricket Council (ICC), PCB cannot provide any assistance to Kaneria."
“If any cricket board imposes ban on any player, all the member countries of ICC are bind to follow and implement the decision,” reiterated Ahmed.
He added that PCB did not provide any assistance to Muhammad Aamir, Muhammad Asif and Salman Butt when they were convicted.
Kaneria hopeful to continue for national side
Danish Kaneria, while talking to Dawn.com, said he was glad to hear that his case was being pursued.
"I am thankful to the standing committee for raising the issue. I am grateful to Iqbal Muhammad Ali and Ramesh Kumar Vankvani for pursuing my case," said Kaneria.
"It has given me a new hope to continue my career and represent Pakistan," he added.
Kaneria said that he had already written several letters to parliamentarians in the past few months to pursue his case with PCB. "I request Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to please look into it."
Kaneria said Subhan Ahmed is speaking under pressure of English Cricket Board and whatever Ahmed said before the NA standing committee was not completely true.
"I do not think there is any law that bars PCB from pursuing the case of any contractual player," adding that he was under contract and "PCB is like fatherly figure for players".
"How can they just ignore my case, I have served Pakistan, I am a Pakistani national."
Kaneria inquired that how can Subhan Ahmed say that PCB did not support the spot fixing trio?
"Didn’t Tafazzul Rizvi fight their case? Isn’t he a lawyer of PCB?" Kaneria questioned.
"I was told that it's my personal case, and PCB won't support me," he said.
Kaneria further said that PCB did fight for Amir in ICC. "Didn't PCB violate 'Zero tolerance policy' for Amir?"
"Whatever PCB said, it comes under ECB’s pressure."
The leg-spin bowler was slapped a lifetime ban by the ECB which prevents him from playing in matches under their jurisdiction.
He subsequently filed an appeal against the ban but was rejected in July 2013.
NA body seeks PCB management's travel expenses
The members of the parliamentary committee also questioned the foreign visits of PCB Chairman Shahryar Khan, PCB Chairman Executive Committee Najam Sethi, and other officials of PCB along with their family members.
“Travelling of Shahryar Khan and Najam Sethi with the cricket team on foreign tours is illogical,” committee chairman said, adding, "Chairmen of others cricket board do not go on months-long tours."
“Who runs the affairs of PCB if its top officials remain abroad for so long period?” Ali asked, demanding the expenditure details of their tours.
The committee also expressed its concerns on sending Muhammad Hafeez on England tour despite not being 100 per cent fit.
The PCB officials, however, rebutted the committee and said that Hafeez was given clearance by a medical board before England’s tour.
Kaneria on the spot-fixing trio’s return to cricket