The leg-spinner made his debut for Pakistan against England in 2000 at the age of 19, becoming only the second Hindu to play Test cricket for his country.
He made an instant impression upon joining Essex as one of their overseas players in 2004, taking 63 wickets in just 11 County Championship matches, and has been one of the most consitently dangerous bowlers in the country in recent years.
In 2005 Kaneria helped Essex to their first National league title for 20 years, although he missed a chunk of the championship campaign due to international commitments.
Kaneria returned to Essex in 2007, when he claimed 74 wickets in the championship and a further 33 in one-day competitions, and was prolific again the following summer before a fractured finger cut short his season.
He topped the county averages in the championship and Friends Provident Trophy - a competition Essex won - while also helping them to the NatWest Pro40 Division Two title.
Kaneria arrived at Chelmsford as Andre Nel's overseas replacement, a position he was expected to take up for the whole of 2009.