Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has claimed that his teammate Danish Kaneria faced discrimination at the hands of a few Pakistan players, who were reluctant to even eat with him because he is a Hindu.
While talking on a chat show titled ‘Game on Hai’ on a Pakistani TV channel hosted by cricket expert Dr. Numan Riaz, the veteran pacer said that Pakistan cricket team was “unfair to Danish Kaneria as he was a Hindu.” He was mistreated on the pretext of his religion, and often the co-players refused to even eat with him, revealed Akhtar.
In the TV program, Shoaib said, “Danish had been Hindu. So it had been unjust to him. Some players had reservations about the reason why he consumes meals with us?”
Despite being a bowler par excellence, Kaneria was never respected by his team members as he was a Hindu, said the former cricketer.
Narrating an incident that once took place in the Pakistan team’s dressing room, Akhtar said that when his fellow players had resented eating food with Danish, he got angry with them and said he would throw each one out of the room for being such racists. He had then reminded the players that Danish was an excellent cricketer contributing immensely to the team, and he should not be discriminated against because of his religion.
Akhtar, during the chat show, also revealed how this societal prejudice had forced former Pakistani star Yousuf Youhana to convert from Christianity to Islam and adopt the name of Mohammad Yousuf.
Akhtar added: “Yusuf was to have 12,000 runs. But, we never guarded him”.
Youhana, who was born a Christian, converted to Islam in 2005 after being a regular at preaching sessions of Tablighi Jamaat. His preachers included former Pakistani cricketer Saeed Anwar.
Hindus even at good position like national cricket team are treated badly in Pakistan then think about the poor ones.
— Amit Kumar Sindhi 🇮🇳 (@AMIT_GUJJU) December 26, 2019