Kaneria finally admits guilt in spot fixing scandal

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Kaneria finally admits guilt in spot fixing scandal
FILE - This Sunday, Feb 19, 2012 file photo, Pakistani bowler Danish Kaneria plays a friendly match against a local team in Lahore, Pakistan. Kaneria hopes to revive his international career as he leaves for London on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 to appeal his life ban before a disciplinary committee of England and Wales Cricket Board. (AP Photo/K.M.Chaudary, File)

ISLAMABAD  Disgraced Pakistan legspinner Danish Kaneria has finally admitted his involvement in a fixing scandal, more than six years after he was banned for life and denied he was guilty.

“My name is Danish Kaneria and I admit that I was guilty of the two charges brought against me by the England and Wales Cricket Board in 2012,” Kaneria said in a documentary televised by Al Jazeera on Thursday.

Kaneria introduced Essex teammate Mervyn Westfield to illegal bookmaker Anu Bhatt in 2009, and they hatched a scheme for Westfield to concede 12 runs in his first over of an English County limited overs game against Durham.

Westfield gave away only 10 runs but still received 6,000 pounds.

Westfield pleaded guilty and served two months in prison.

Kaneria was banned from cricket for life.

“Mervyn used to tell me that he wants to become a rich cricketer,” Kaneria said.

“I want to apologize to Mervyn Westfield, my Essex teammates, Essex Cricket Club and the fans … to Pakistan and my fans around the world. And to my wife and family – I have let them all down.”

Kaneria said he repeatedly denied wrongdoing because of his ailing father, who died of cancer in 2013.

“His health was getting worse and worse,” Kaneria said. “I didn’t have the courage to face him and tell him that I was wrong. He was a very, very proud guy. Very, very proud of me and what I did, representing Pakistan.

“I want to apologize to my father, who has always been a role model for me.”

Kaneria said he would like a second chance so he could educate young cricketers, “teach them that if you do wrong you are finished like me.”

Westfield told The Mail he accepted Kaneria’s admission and even his apology.

“This whole chapter of spot-fixing changed my life, but I have never blamed anyone for the terrible mistake I made,” he said.

“I hope that Danish finds peace and closure by doing this, and I wish him all the best for the future.”