Sohail believes the PCB should start taking a tougher stance on match-fixing
Former Pakistan cricketing legends have expressed their disappointment and anger towards Danish Kaneria, who was banned for life by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) after being found guilty of corruption.
The former Pakistan greats believe that the Kaneria’s sentence was a bit harsh, but stated that there was a need to send a clear message out to any cricketer who plans to match-fix in the future.
Kaneria, who was playing for Essex at the time of the match-fixing scandal, was implicated by team-mate Mervyn Westfield, who was given £6,000 to under-perform in a Pro40 match against Durham in September 2009.
During the four day ECB hearing, Westfield stated that Kaneria provided the link between the bookmakers and players.
Former Pakistan captain Aamir Sohail was extremely disappointed to see yet another Pakistan player receive a ban for match-fixing.
Speaking exclusively to the Associated Foreign Press (AFP), Sohail said: “I am disappointed, but not shocked, we are now accustomed (to) it. But it is high time now that we should think seriously about it and avoid such happenings in future.”
The ECB disciplinary panel also branded Kaneria a “liar” and being a “grave danger to the game of cricket” during the hearing.
Kaneria, is now the third Pakistan player to be banned for life, after former captain Salim Malik and Ata-ur Rehman received life bans for match-fixing in 2000.
However, ur Rehman’s ban was overturned in 2003 after he appealed against his sentence.
Pakistan were also in the match-fixing spotlight in 2010 when former captain Salman Butt and two pace bowlers, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, were given prison sentences and banned for five years each by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for their involvement in a match-fixing scandal in a Test match against England.
Sohail believes that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should take a harder stance on players who have been involved in match-fixing.
“It (PCB) swallowed up what came up in the past,” Sohail said, referring to the 2000 enquiry with Malik and ur Rehman.
“PCB should have thought hard about things and now we cannot afford any such thing,” Sohail added.
Another former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif, who fought against allegations that he match-fixed, stated that he felt no remorse for Kaneria and believes that the game of cricket had been given justice.
“If he (Kaneria) was guilty then there should be no remorse or disappointment, anyone involved and found guilty should be punished and the talk of forgiving players like Butt, Asif and Aamer (is) wrong, in fact I would suggest that (the) assets of these players should also be checked.” Latif said.
However, former Pakistan pace bowler Sarfraz Nawaz feels as if Kaneria’s life ban was too harsh of a sentence.
“A life ban is harsh, it should have been two to five years, this latest case has increased our responsibilities to avoid any such incident in the future,” Nawaz said.
Kaneria’s life ban all but signals an end to his career, in which he took 261 wickets in 61 Tests for Pakistan, and also represented his country in 18 ODIs, in which he picked up 15 wickets.