Danish Kaneria, while playing for Essex, had offered teammate Mervyn Westfield money to underperform in a Pro40 match against Durham in September 2009
London: Former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has admitted that he was involved in the 2009 spot-fixing scandal in England, for which he was banned for life by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2012.
"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," the 37-year-old Kaneria told Al Jazeera.
"I have become strong enough to make this decision because you cannot live a life with lies," Kaneria, Pakistan's most successful Test spinner with 261 wickets, added.
Kaneria said, at the time, he could not confess as his father's health was worsening.
"His (father’s) health was getting worse and worse. And, I did not have the courage to face him and to tell him that I was wrong. He was a very very proud guy. He was very very proud of me, for what I did, representing Pakistan," he explained.
He also said that not reporting the approach of the bookmaker was "the biggest mistake” of his life. He added, "I regret it from the bottom of my heart".
Kaneria, while playing for Essex, had offered teammate Mervyn Westfield money to underperform in a Pro40 match against Durham in September 2009. Westfield after admitting that he accepted 6,000 pounds, paid by a bookmaker, to concede 12 runs in an over, was jailed for four months in England.
In 2010, Kaneria and Westfield were arrested. Kaneria was the link between Westfield and bookmaker Anu Bhatt. However, the Pakistani escaped due to lack of evidence and he maintained that he was innocent.
Five years ago, Kaneria had said he was "deeply disappointed" by the lifetime ban handed out by ECB and claimed that he was targeted as he was from Hindu minority in Pakistan.
"I am deeply disappointed and disgusted with the decision," Kaneria said. "I have been victimised in this case and Westfield got his ban relaxed. Right from the outset there was no evidence against me and not even the Essex police charged me, but the ECB has been unjust towards me and it's unacceptable," he said in 2013.
"I feel alone and at times I feel that because I am from a minority, people don't support me. The PCB has not supported me in the case. I appeal to Pakistan President (Asif Ali) Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to please take up my case with England. I want to play cricket and don't want to be stopped because of this unjust ban," he added.
Also, in an interview with Mid-Day when he was in India on a personal trip in 2016, Kaneria had appealed to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to help him with a coaching role as he had left with very little money.
"It will save me, my life, and whatever cricket is left in me. I am living on my last savings. I do not know how long I will survive. I can even teach young Indians the art of spin, can’t I? Why can’t they call me? I am one of them," Kaneria had said.
"Every avenue has dried up for me in Pakistan; I seem to have no takers for my appeals from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). I am dying. It is because I am a Hindu, a minority in Pakistan. It is because I refused to admit my involvement in spot-fixing when the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) charged me. I want to be heard, is it very difficult to hear me out?," he added.
Last Updated 2:44 PM IST