Confirming Shoaib Akhtar’s comment admitting that Pakistani cricketers discriminated against Danish Kaneria, the former Pakistani leg-spinner said he plans to reveal the names of the offenders soon.
Akhtar claimed that few Pakistani cricketers discriminated against Kaneria to such an extent that they would not even eat at the same table with him because he belongs to the Hindu community.
According to a News18 report, Akhtar made these allegations while appearing on a show on PTV Sports called ‘Game on Hai’. Bolstered by Akhtar’s comment, Kaneria said he now has the courage to speak up.
Akhtar said on TV: “In my career, I fought with two or three teammates for delving on regionalism. They would say things like ‘who is from Karachi, Punjab, or Peshawar.”
“To me, it did not matter if someone is a Hindu if the person is doing well for the team. Targeting Kaneria, they even questioned ‘Sir, ye yaaha se khaana kaise le raha hain’ (How can he take food from this place)?”
“The same Hindu won the Test for us against England. If he is taking a bagful of wickets for Pakistan, he should play. We could not have won the series without Kaneria’s effort. But not many gave him credit for that,” Akhtar said.
Speaking about Akhtar’s allegations, Kaneria said in a comment to news agency ANI: “Shoaib has been a legend of the game. His words are also as blunt as his bowling. When I was a part of the cricket team, I did not have the courage to speak up. But after Shoaib’s comment, I do. He has always supported me and also Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yusuf, and Younis bhai.”
He added: “I do feel honoured and fortunate to have played for Pakistan, but I will expose those who mistreated me.”
Meanwhile, an unverified Twitter handle @DanishKaneria_ has posted a press statement saying that 'my life is not in good shape' and that he needs support and help of Pakistani cricketers and the people.
Here is the Tweet:
Kaneria, 39, was ousted from the team after he was found spot-fixing in 2009 while playing for Essex. At the one-day match, he had convinced Mervyn Westfield to give away 12 runs to him. Westfield was eventually imprisoned and banned for five years by the England Cricket Board.
Notably, Kaneria was the second Hindu cricketer to play for the Pakistan team. His maternal uncle Anil Dalpat was also a noted Pakistani Hindu cricketer who had played 61 test matches and 18 ODIs.(With agency inputs)