Former legspinner Danish Kaneria on Saturday clarified that he was never discriminated against on the basis of religion during his playing career for Pakistan, but did claim that he was treated differently by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after he was found guilty in a spot-fixing scandal.
Kaneria made headlines this week after former teammate Shoaib Akhtar said that the leggie was discriminated by some Muslim members of the Pakistani cricket team because of his Hindu faith.
The spinner had later backed Akhtar’s explosive claim, and thanked him for “telling the truth to the world”.
However, following public backlash, Kaneria has had a change of hearts, as he detailed in a series of tweets earlier today that he has a bone to pick with the authorities and not the public.
“The people of Pakistan never discriminated against me on the basis of religion,” he said.
Kaneria did say though that he did not get any support from the PCB or the Government of Pakistan after being banned — unlike “other players in similar situation”.
It is fact that I didn’t get any support from @pid_gov or @TheRealPCB after the ban and my acceptance, where as other players in similar situation play for Pak with a support from PCB and honoured. Any drawn conclusion on this matter would prove @shoaib100mph claim as right. 1/n
— Danish Kaneria (@DanishKaneria_) December 28, 2019
Though he did not name names, Kaneria’s gripe stems from the PCB’s handling of Mohammad Amir and Sharjeel Khan — both of whom were found guilty in separate spot-fixing scandals. Amir admitted his guilt, served his time and has since largely been forgiven and become a regular fixture of the national team.
Sharjeel, too, has completed his rehab and been picked by the Karachi Kings for the Pakistan Super League 2020, after which a national recall could also be on the cards.
Having said that, it took Kaneria — banned for life by the England and Wales Cricket Board in 2012 — six years to admit his guilt in the spot-fixing scandal of 2009. By that time, he had lost his cricketing utility for the national team and the PCB.
Kaneria’s case has similarities to that of former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, both of whom have complained of being treated differently than Amir.