The hearing into Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria’s appeal against a life ban had to be adjourned in London after the counsel for the player objected to the absence of key witness, Mervyn Westfield, from the proceedings.
According to details, the counsel for Kaneria, QC Tim Maloney, raised the issue that since Westfield was the main witness in the whole case, his presence at the hearing was imperative.
Westfield absented himself from the hearing on grounds of ill-health.
The former Essex player and teammate of Kaneria at the county was jailed by a crown court for a short period after confessing to accept payments for under-performing in a Pro-40 match against Durham in late 2009.
Westfield later also named Kaneria as his alleged corrupter which led to a disciplinary panel of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) imposing a life ban on Kaneria in June this year.
Kaneria has appealed against the life ban and at the first appeal hearing on Monday Westfield was not present.
“Although the ECB counsel kept on insisting before the five-member appeal tribunal that it was not necessary to have Westfield at the hearing but Kaneria’s counsel argued that since it was on the basis of his confession and testimony that his client was declared a grave danger to cricket,” a source aware of the hearing developments said.
“Kaneria’s counsel argued that since the appeal hearing was totally new they wanted to cross examine and question Westfield as they felt he had not been truthful in the earlier disciplinary hearing,” the source said.
The five member appeal tribunal ruled in favor of Kaneria and adjourned the proceedings for an indefinite period directing the ECB to ensure that Westfield appeared at the next date.
The Pakistani spinner has not been cleared by his cricket board to play for the national team since September, 2010 due to the spot-fixing investigations by the Essex police that started in 2010.
Kaneria, who has taken 261 Test wickets, also faces the prospect of paying a fine of 100,000 pounds if his appeal is dismissed by the appeal tribunal.
The PCB has also suspended Kaneria from any cricket activities pending the outcome of his appeal after the ECB hearing.