Sunday (December 29): Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar claimed he stepped in to stop discrimination based on religion against Danish Kaneria, who was targeted by “one or two” team-mates because he is a Hindu.
Akhtar on Thursday had claimed that Kaneria faced discrimination at the hands of a few Pakistani players, who were reluctant to even eat with him.
Kaneria supported Akhtar’s claim, saying there were a “few players” who targeted him for being a Hindu during his time with the national team but never felt the urge or the pressure to change his religion.
“We, as a society, should realise that this should be nipped in the bud. I am a product of this society and I did that. I had told them (the players) I will throw you out if you talk like this (about Kaneria’s faith). Because this is not our culture,” Akhtar said in his Youtube channel on Saturday night.
Kaneria played 61 Tests for Pakistan, claiming 261 wickets, and Akhtar heaped praise on the former leg-spinner.
“Danish has helped Pakistan win a lot of matches. Danish has played for Pakistan for 10 years. He was played over Mushtaq Ahmed. I still feel he should have been played two years earlier.”
The 39-year-old Kaneria is currently serving a life ban for spot-fixing alongside Mervyn Westfield while playing for English county Essex against Durham in 2009.