Cricket

Shoaib Akhtar says only 'one or two' Pakistan teammates mistreated Danish Kaneria for his religious identity

  • Press Trust of India
  • December 29th, 2019
  • 16:02:59 IST

New Delhi: Asserting that religion-based discrimination has never been part of Pakistan cricket team's culture, former pacer Shoaib Akhtar has clarified that only one or two of his teammates subjected Danish Kaneria to prejudice.

Akhtar on Thursday had claimed that a few Pakistani cricketers were reluctant to even eat with him because he is a Hindu.

The former leg-spinner later 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 he never felt the urge or the pressure to change his religion.

Akhtar on Saturday night took to Twitter to issue a clarification on his statement, mildly backtracking from his earlier comments.

"I watched the mess that was made of my statement, which was taken completely out of context," Akhtar wrote on his handle, attaching a video of his YouTube channel.


In the video, the former speedster said, "There is an unwritten contract that we got to respect every player no matter what. But there was some hesitation shown by a few players but this is not our team's code of conduct."

"This is just 1-2 players and these kinds of players are there all over the world who pass racist comments," he said.

Akhtar said he immediately stepped in to stop those players, which shows that as a society, they don't indulge in racial discrimination.

"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 I will throw you out if you talk like this (about Kaneria's faith). Because this is not our culture," he said.

"We as a nation did not let such discriminatory thoughts prevail. We stopped it there. We have improved a lot as a society in the last 10-15 years."

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 is currently serving a life ban after being found guilty of spot-fixing alongside Mervyn Westfield while playing for 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.

Updated Date: December 29, 2019 16:02:59 IST

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Pakistan vs South Africa: Mark Boucher says COVID-19 restrictions, security will make it tough for players
First Cricket News

Pakistan vs South Africa: Mark Boucher says COVID-19 restrictions, security will make it tough for players

Pakistan has staged various limited-overs series in the last six years, but Test cricket was only revived in late 2019 – and under the sort of security normally reserved for visiting heads of state.

Pakistan vs South Africa: Visitors head coach Mark Boucher calls for Jacques Kallis to rejoin coaching set-up
First Cricket News

Pakistan vs South Africa: Visitors head coach Mark Boucher calls for Jacques Kallis to rejoin coaching set-up

Boucher was speaking on the eve of South Africa’s departure for Pakistan, where they will play two Test matches, starting in Karachi on 26 January.

Will be available to play for Pakistan again once Misbah and Co leave, says Mohammad Amir
First Cricket News

Will be available to play for Pakistan again once Misbah and Co leave, says Mohammad Amir

Last week, Amir had also talked about a desperate need for a change in the environment of the Pakistan dressing room.