Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has said 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 (December 26) had claimed that Kaneria faced discrimination at the hands of a few Pakistani players, who were reluctant to even eat with him.
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.
Kaneria, who had admitted to spot-fixing in 2018 after six years of denial, on Saturday alleged that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the government did not offer him any help after being banned from the sport.
“Danish Kaneria was never left out (of the team) by Pakistan. He was dropped because of the ECB. He had a match-fixing issue and the ECB penalised him for that. Pakistan did no wrong to him,” Akhtar said.