Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has alleged that some Pakistani cricketers treated in a shoddy manner his fellow player Danish Kaneria. They did not even eat with him as he was a Hindu, Akhtar claimed.
Kaneria, the second Hindu to play for Pakistan after his maternal uncle Anil Dalpat, took 261 wickets in 61 Tests for Pakistan. Shoaib said this on the show ‘Game on Hai’ on PTV Sports.
Akhtar said, “In my career, I fought two to three players of the team when they started talking on regionalism. ‘Who is from Karachi? Who is from Punjab? Who is from Peshawar?’ Such things started happening.”
“What if someone is a Hindu? He is playing well for the team,” Akhtar said he wondered.
Shoaib said, “They used to say, ‘Sir, how is he taking food from here?'” The former fast bowler claimed he would retort by saying, “The same Hindu won us a Test against England. If he is taking wickets for Pakistan, he should play.”
“We could not have won the series without Kaneria’s effort but not many people give him credit for it,” Akhtar said.
Kaneria was found guilty of spot-fixing with Mervyn Westfield in 2009 while playing for Essex against Durham.
Kaneria played 61 Test matches for Pakistan. He took 261 wickets at an average of 34.79. He represented the team in 18 ODIs, taking 15 wickets with an average over 45.
In Test cricket, Kaneria’s best bowling performance in an innings was seven wickets for 77 runs whereas his best performance in a match was 12 wickets for 94 runs, both against Bangladesh.
The Hindu player in the cricket team of the Islamic state of Pakistan took 15 five-wicket hauls in Test cricket and achieved seven and six wickets in an innings on four and three different occasions respectively. He took ten wickets or more in a match on two different occasions, once against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka each.
Kaneria never played Twenty20 International matches (T20I) for Pakistan. He played 206 first-class matches, 167 List A (LA) and 65 Twenty20 matches during his career. Kaneria also played in English county cricket during 2004 and 2010 representing Essex County Cricket Club.
After allegations of being involved in spot-fixing, Kaneria was given a lifetime ban by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), preventing him from playing in matches under their jurisdiction. He subsequently filed an appeal against the ban, but this was rejected in July 2013.