sport

Kaneria fails to overturn ban

Former Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria has failed in his attempt to appeal against the lifetime ban handed to him by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for corruption.

The 33-year-old has fought against the punishment he received after being accused of introducing his then Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield to illegal bookmakers and encouraging him to engage in spot-fixing.

Westfield spent two months in prison after receiving 6,000 to concede an agreed 12 runs an over in a game against Durham in 2009.

Although Kaneria was not charged with the same offence, his involvement was a significant factor emerging during Westfield's trial prompting the ECB to impose the ban which under International Cricket Council regulations is effectively applicable worldwide.

Kaneria's bid to contest the decision in the Court of Appeal was "totally without merit", according to Rt Hon Sir Stanley Burnton, who heard the case.

"We welcome today's decision," said ECB chairman Giles Clarke.

"Mr Kaneria acted as a recruiter of potential 'spot-fixers' and used his seniority and international experience to target and corrupt a young and vulnerable player.

"It is high time that Mr Kaneria came clean about his involvement in these corrupt activities and stopped misleading the Pakistan cricket fans and wider public with his empty protestations of innocence.

\"We once again urge him to apologise publicly for his past actions and to start the process of redeeming himself by supporting the Pakistan Cricket Board's anti-corruption initiatives and assisting the police and law enforcement bodies in the Asian sub-continent with the vital job of exposing and cutting off the primary source of cricket corruption."

The ECB says the Court of Appeal's decision means Kaneria has exhausted all his legal options to overturn the ban, with an ECB disciplinary panel and the High Court both rejecting previous efforts from Pakistan's most successful ever spinner.