DISGRACED Essex cricketer Danish Kaneria has protested his innocence over bribery accusations as renews attempts to lift his playing ban.

The Pakistani spinner openly criticised the England and Wales Cricket Board during an interview with the BBC Asian Network over their decision in 2012 to ban him for life from playing the sport.

Although never formally charged, Kaneria was accused of influencing Essex CCC bowler Mervyn Westfield into taking a £6,000 spot-fixing bung to bowl poorly in a domestic one day game in 2009.

Last April the 33-year-old lost an appeal to overturn the ban but yesterday started a fresh bid in the High Court’s Commercial Court.

Speaking before the hearing begins, Kaneria criticised the actions of the ECB.

Kaneria told the BBC: “I have not pressured him or done anything that's brought the game into disrepute, so I'm not guilty.

“The ECB says I should show remorse, but on what should I show remorse? On something I haven't done?

“They have taken my cricket, which is my bread and butter.”

He also criticised former team-mate Westfield who was handed a five year ban from professional cricket after admitting to accepting a bribe.

The fast bowler has recently been cleared to play amateur level cricket for Frinton CC.

When asked what he would say to Westfield if they meet again, Kaneria said: “Why did you put a knife in my back?

“I had a wonderful career - why did you destroy it?

“You get everything back, but for me everything has been taken away by the ECB.”

Bosses at the ECB said they had treated Kaneria fairly after two independent panels found him guilty.

A spokesperson said: “The ECB wholly endorses both panels' decision to impose a life ban in this instance and will continue to advocate the need for the strongest possible deterrents for anyone found guilty of such conduct.”