Rawalpindi born Pakistan’s former fast bowler made a bold remark on his country’s behavior over Hindus living in its region. During a chat show, Shoaib Akhtar made a shocking revelation that Danish Kaneria, who happens to be a Hindu, was treated unfairly by his Pakistani teammates just because of his beliefs.
Akhtar makes a shocking revelation
The veteran fast bowler also said that his teammate even stopped Kaneria from picking up food from the same table as others because of his faith. Shoaib Akhtar made this statement during a show ‘Game on Hai’ aired on PTV Sports.
“Our skipper always had a problem with him eating with us or taking the food from the same table. I advised him that you could be the captain of our team but your behavior is wicked. This fellow (Kaneria) is picking up so many wickets to win matches for us and you’re treating him like this,” Shoaib Akhtar revealed.
He claimed that some players did not want Kaneria to be part of the Pakistan team just because of his Hindu faith and that the spinner was never given praise for his performances and was regularly humiliated by his teammates.
“No one was giving Danish any credit for his outstanding performance. That was totally ridiculous. He won us the Test series against England (in 2005). He trapped all the top-order batsmen,” Akhtar said.
Danish Kaneria was barely the second Hindu player after Anil Dalpat to represent Pakistan in international cricket and he is fourth on the list of bowlers with most Test wickets for Pakistan, behind only fast bowlers like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Imran Khan.
Akhtar further revealed that since his early life he was against religious discrimination. “I used to get offended when anyone was separated against on the basis of region or religion. A Hindu born in Pakistan is entitled to represent his country,” Akhtar added.
The leg-spinner thanked Shoaib Akhtar
After the legendary pacer came out to his former teammate’s support, the leg-spinner Danish Kaneria praised Akhtar for his statement regarding the treatment faced by him and said that whatever Akhtar said was true and he is very grateful to him for taking such a strong stand.
“Today, I witnessed the interview of the legendary bowler Shoaib Akhtar. I especially thank him for telling the truth. There were certain players who didn’t like to talk to me just because I was Hindu. Soon I will reveal their names. I did not have the courage to speak in this regard, but now I got the courage to speak on this issue when I hear Shoaib’s statement,” he said.
He also revealed that there were players like Younis Khan, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, and Akhtar who were nice to him irrespective of his religion.
“In the meantime, I am obliged to all the players who helped me wholeheartedly as a cricketer. Also thankful to media, genuine cricket administrators, and citizens of Pakistan who supported me regardless of my religious association,” he said.
He added that there were several elements in the society that opposed his beliefs. He always remained positive in life and ignored such people who brought up differences.
“I gave everything possible for Pakistan as a cricketer and I am very proud of it. And in the hour of need, I am positive that the people of Pakistan will help me.”
The spot-fixing allegations
After involved in spot-fixing, Kaneria was imposed a lifetime ban by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), barring him from playing in matches under their authority. He afterward filed a petition against the ban, but his plea was rejected in July 2013.
Speaking on the allegation the 44-year-old has said that he believes that he can never cheat his country Pakistan and this is why he never did spot-fixing.
“My life is not in good shape and I approached many individuals in Pakistan and around the world to resolve my issues. Yet, I have not received any help. Issues of many cricketers of Pakistan have been resolved though.”
“I need support from all legendary players of Pakistan including honorable Prime Minister Imran Khan, cricket administrators of Pakistan and other countries to get me out of the mess. Please come forward and help me out,” the spinner pleads.