Kaneria’s ban seems to have shut the door on other tainted Pakistani players as PCB in no mood to show leniency

Pakistani Test leg-spinner Danish Kaneria during his hearing by the England and Wales cricket board (ECB) claimed that he had been unable to break off his ties with Indian bookmaker, Arun Bhatia as the latter had threatened him several times, says a report in The Indian Express.

“Well-informed sources aware of the proceedings during the hearing that later banned Kaneria for life from English cricket and fined him 100,000 pounds for his involvement in spot-fixing, said Kaneria had also admitted that he had introduced the Indian to his Essex teammate, Mervyn Westfield,” adds the report.

"During the hearing this month when Kaneria was asked why he had kept his contacts with Arun despite being warned by the ICC anti-corruption unit officers to stay clear of him claimed he was being threatened by the Indian," one source said, adding that Danish said in 2008 after the ICC anti-corruption officers questioned him in Lahore that Arun was a bookmaker and he (Kaneria) should stay clear of him, he had tried to do this but the Indian started threatening him.

Meanwhile Kaneria's life ban seems to have shut the door on other tainted Pakistani players who are eyeing a return to the game after the PCB has decided to show no leniency to any player found guilty of corruption. Last year, former Pakistan captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir had also been jailed after being found guilty of involving in corruption and cheating by a Crown Court in London.

"The question before us now is whether these players have any remorse or regret over how they have damaged the image of Pakistan cricket and sadly so far the answer is in the negative," said a senior PCB official, adding that while the board had hired a sports psychologist to counsel and reform 19-year-old Aamir as part of his program, the pacer is unlikely to get a chance to redeem his international career after the Kaneria episode,” says a report in Indian Express.

Meanwhile former cricketers welcomed the BCCI's decision to slap life ban on TP Sudhindra and varying degrees of sanctions to four other players caught in the IPL spot-fixing scandal, saying that anybody found guilty of corruption should be handed deterrent punishment. Former opener Arun Lal said that no sympathy should be shown to these players who were found guilty of indulging in shadowy deals in the Indian Premier League and other matches.

"No sympathy should be shown to these players. Those engaging in such corrupt practices should be handed exemplary punishment," he said.