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Kaneria responds to allegations of religious discrimination

Shoaib Akhtar had said that the spinner used to be discriminated against within the Pakistan cricket team because of his Hindu faith

PHOTO: AFP

Former cricketer Shoaib Akhtar has claimed that his fellow teammate and leg-spinner Danish Kaneria was discriminated in the Pakistan team because of his religion.

While talking in a TV show on Pakistan Television (PTV), Akhtar revealed that once a Pakistan player had an issue with Kaneria eating from the same place as his other teammates.

"I dont want to bring this out in the open but once someone said 'Sir, why is he eating from here [implying same place as others]' , I said I am going to throw you out because this man is getting wickets for your country,” Shoaib was quoted as saying by pakpassion.net. "It was said that I had something to do with the win in the England series but the fact is that Danish Kaneria and Mohammad Sami were the real reasons we won"

"So why wasn’t Danish Kaneria given credit? This used to really rile me up," he added.

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Akhtar was also critical of the regional bias that was prevalent in Pakistan cricket.

"The times I had issues with people was when people spoke about regionalism; when they spoke about being from Peshawar or Karachi, then I used to get really angry," he said.

Later, Kaneria confirmed the allegations of religious discrimination while talking to Indian media.

"He [Akhtar] told the truth. I'll reveal names of players who didn't like to talk to me as I was a Hindu. Didn't have courage to speak on it, but now I will," Kaneria said while talking to Times Now.

Kaneria, who was banned from cricket in 2012 for fixing allegations, had reportedly also approched the BCCI for help in fighting his case to clear his name a few years ago.

Kaneria played 61 Test matches for Pakistan and took 261 wickets at an average of 34.79.