The Pakistan Cricket Board had refused to meet Danish Kaneria's lawyer, in another setback to the legspinner's attempts to seek clarification on his continued exclusion from the Pakistan team. "We have received another email from their lawyer saying again they are not prepared to have a meeting so obviously we are very, very disappointed about that," Steve Haurigan, Kaneria's lawyer, said yesterday.
Kaneria was one of three players - alongside Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik - who were summoned before the PCB's inquiry committee in order to gain clearance to play for the country. Pakistan had delayed the announcement of their 30-man World Cup squad till January 5 to complete investigating the three players, but only Kamran was included in the preliminary list for the tournament. Kaneria was also in the original squad to play two Tests against South Africa in the UAE, but was told moments before he was about to leave for the airport that he hadn't been cleared to play.
Haurigan said the PCB's reluctance to clear Kaneria was also hampering his prospects with English county sides. "We want to know what objections the PCB have against Danish continuing to play? Because they haven't told him or us what those objections are. They are blocking him playing not only in Pakistan for the Pakistan team but also obviously outside Pakistan. The effect of the PCB being reluctant to clear Danish is that the county sides in England who are willing and almost queuing up to sing up Danish are reluctant to do it, understandably because they are not sure what's going on."
Kaneria was the subject of a criminal investigation in August by Es+++ police over allegations that he was involved in spot-fixing during a county game, but was released without charge in September. He has not been retained by the county for the upcoming season, but Kaneria has said that is only due to 'financial reasons'. Haurigan said Kaneria was prepared to answer all questions regarding the UK investigations. "There are issues as regards what happened in the UK last year. He's been cleared by the ICC and the British police, and he wants to carry on playing. He is frustrated that nobody is telling him what the problem is.
"Danish is effectively being called in by his boss, the PCB, and told you can't work anymore, but they haven't told him why, and they won't tell him why. We are not here to annoy any people and start proceedings. Danish wants nothing more but to continue playing. He'll love to put on the colors of the Pakistan team and get out there bowling again that's all he wants to do."
Haurigan hinted at the possibility of further legal action if the PCB continued to stick to its stance. "At this stage, we can't rule out anything. We want to get it resolved in Danish's favour as quickly as possible, but we are aware of all the options that are possibly open to us. If we don't get the information then we have to do something sooner rather than later."