Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has made a shocking allegation against the Pakistan cricket team. He alleges that Pakistan team treated Danish Kaneria, the only Hindu in the team, badly because of his faith and several players even had problems with eating with Kaneria.
Speaking on a cricket show titled ‘Game on Hai’, Akhtar said, “In my career, the number of times I have had to argue with people regarding the issues of Karachi, Punjab, Peshawar is outrageous. People used to ask questions like, ‘Why are you eating (with us) here?’ to Hindu players like Danish Kaneria.”
“I used to reply to those players, ‘How would you feel if I took your food from your house and forced to make you eat outside?'” Akhtar added.
He said that there were many players in the Pakistan team who didn't want to have food with Danish, because of his faith. Also many didn't want him to be a part of Pakistan cricket team. His own teammates used to humiliate him and they didn't even use to credit him for his performances.
“Shoaib has been a legend of the game. His words are also as blunt as his bowling. When I was playing I did not have the courage to speak on these matters but after Shoaib bhai’s comments, I do. He has always supported me and also Inzy bhai (Inzamam-ul-Haq), Mohammad Yusuf and Younis bhai” said Kaneria in response to Akhtar's statement.
“Those who did not support me, I will make their names public soon. Having said that, I feel fortunate and honoured that I got to play for Pakistan,” added Kaneria.
With 261 wickets in 62 Tests, Kaneria remains one of Pakistan’s best modern-day spinners.
He played for Pakistan between 2000 and 2010, is only the second Hindu player to play for Pakistan, the other being Anil Dalpat, a wicketkeeper who played in the 1980s.
He never reached the heights of Abdul Qadir and Mushtaq Ahmed, the other prominent Pakistani leg spinners, despite possessing all the skills. Kaneria’s career ended when he was banned for life by the ECB in 2012 after being found guilty of corruption in a spot-fixing case.