The claimant, Danish Kaneria, was a professional cricketer. In June 2012, the defendant body found him guilty of two charges, including inducing or encouraging, or attempting to induce or encourage, another cricketer to not to perform to his merits by deliberately conceding a minimum number of runs. He appealed to an arbitral panel, which confirmed that he was to be made subject to a life ban and to pay costs. He brought proceedings, contending that, among other things, the panel had exceeded its powers.

Kaneria v The English and Wales Cricket Board Ltd: Queen’s Bench Division, Commercial Court: 6 May 2014

Claimant, K, being professional cricketer – K being found guilty of inducing, or attempting to induce, other player to concede runs, and of bringing cricket into disrepute – Defendant cricketing body giving K life ban and ordering payment of costs – K appealing unsuccessfully to arbitral panel

The claimant, K, was a Pakistani national and a professional cricketer. In September 2009, W, an English cricketer, admitted that he had deliberately bowled badly in a match in return for financial reward.

The defendant body (the ECB), which administered cricket in England and Wales, brought disciplinary proceedings against K on the grounds that: (i) he had induced or encouraged, or attempted to induce or encourage, W to not to perform to his merits by deliberately conceding a minimum number of runs in breach of 2009 ECB Directive 3.8.5; and (ii) he had thereby conducted himself in such a manner as might bring the game of cricket or any cricketer into disrepute in breach of 2009 ECB Directive 3.3.

In June 2012, a disciplinary panel found K guilty of both charges. He was banned for life and fined £100,000. K appealed to an arbitral panel (the panel). The panel’s rules stated that it had an absolute discretion to impose any penalty within its general powers. In May 2013, the panel upheld the life ban and imposed additional costs. K brought proceedings, seeking to set aside the ban on the basis that it had been disproportionate.

K submitted that, among other things, the findings of the panel should be set aside for serious irregularity pursuant to section 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (the 1996 act), in that the panel had exceeded its powers in imposing costs orders and a life ban.

The claim would be dismissed.

On the authorities, it was clear that the ECB had the power to impose a life ban. K’s contention that the exercise of the power had been unlawful because it had been disproportionate was an allegation that the panel had purported to exercise a power that it did not have. As such, it did not fall within section 68 of the 1996 act (see [32], [33] of the judgment).

The panel had not exceeded its powers in imposing the ban or by making/upholding the costs orders as alleged or at all. The claim under section 68 of the 1996 act would be dismissed (see [34] of the judgment).

Lesotho Highlands Development Authority v Impregilo SpA [2005] 3 All ER 789 applied.

Timothy Moloney QC and Jude Bunting (instructed by Time Solicitors) for K; Ian Mill QC (instructed by Onside Law) for the ECB.