The Pakistan Cricket Board are on the charge from the international media and the cricketing fandom after Pakistani cricket legend Shoaib Akhtar had revealed that his former teammate Danish Kaneria had faced discrimination from his compatriots for his religion. Now, PCB has come up with a statement to defend the allegations against themselves.
At a sports talk show ‘Game on Hai’, Shoaib Akhtar made a striking revelation about his playing career, during which Kaneria was facing bigotry from fellow Pakistani cricketers for being Hindu, did not even have food with him.
Kaneria, who is the second Hindu cricketer after Anil Dalpat to represent Pakistan in international cricket, confirmed Akhtar’s statements.
In an interview with ANI, he said: “The players who didn’t like to talk to me just because I was a Hindu. Soon I will reveal their names. I did not have the courage to speak in this regard, but now I got the courage to speak on this issue when I heard Shoaib’s statement.”
The 39 year old was accused of match fixing by the England and Wales Cricket Board in 2010.
A spokesperson for the PCB, has however dismissed Kaneria and Akhtar’s allegations, and stated that the question should be raised to Kaneria’s teammates, and not the PCB as they had no involvement in this.
He told reporters: “Look both Akhtar and Kaneria are retired players they are not contracted to us so they can do or say what they want. It is their opinion. And they are making allegations about behaviour of some players not about the entire Pakistan cricket set-up or board,”
“Inzamam-ul-Haq, Rashid Latif, Younis Khan, Muhammad Yousuf, all these guys captained Pakistan when Kaneria was playing. They should respond to what Akhtar and Kaneria are saying. Why should the board get involved?” The spokesperson added.
However, Kaneria’s teammates and former Pakistani Test icons Iqbal Qasim and Mohsin Khan have come come forward in moral support.
Mohsin said: “A player should only be judged on his cricketing ability and commitments to the team not his religion, colour or creed,” while Qasim added: “If some players have mistreated Kaneria only because of his religion than they must be exposed.”