Danish Kaneria: Afridi discriminated against me during my career

Kaneria says he could have played many more One-Day Internationals for Pakistan if Afridi hadn't discriminated against him.

Danish Kaneria took 261 wickets for Pakistan in 61 Tests.   -  Getty Images

Danish Kaneria has blamed Shahid Afridi for his short run in limited-overs cricket for Pakistan.

Kaneria, a leg-spinner, played 61 Tests but only 18 One-Day Internationals between 2000 and 2010. He was only the second Hindu to play for Pakistan after his maternal uncle Anil Dalpat.

Kaneria claimed Afridi, the former Pakistan captain and fellow leg-spinner, discriminated against him, possibly due to his religion. “He was always against me, when we were playing for the same department in domestic cricket or playing me in ODIs. If one person is always against you and you are in that situation, what other reason would think other than [religion]?,” Kaneria told PTI.

Kaneria said he could have played many more ODIs if Afridi hadn't discriminated against him. “I could not play more ODIs because of him and he also treated me unfairly when we used to play for the same department (in domestic cricket), he was the captain. He used to keep me out of the side and often he would do the same in ODIs without any reason. He used to support others but not me. Thanks to almighty, I still went on to play a lot for Pakistan and I could not be more proud of that,” he said.

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Kaneria said he used to be a regular member of ODI squads but hardly got to play. “I was a leg spinner and so was [Afridi]. That was another reason,” Kaneria said.

“He was a big star and playing for Pakistan anyway and to treat me like that, I could not understand why. They used to say two spinners can’t play in the eleven. They used to say my fielding was an issue in limited-overs cricket. You tell me who were the supremely fit leaders at that time? There were only one or two good fielders. Pakistan was never known for fielding anyway. When not playing international cricket, he used to come back and drop me from the departmental team.”

Plea for help

Kaneria was found guilty of spot-fixing while playing county cricket for Essex and has been pleading the PCB for help for a long time. “I don’t want to play the religion card. All I want is PCB’s support. If they can allow Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt back into the system, why not me? Yes, I made a mistake but so did others. They can’t use and throw me like a toilet paper. I have served Pakistan for a long time and they should support me after all these years,” Kaneria said.

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Kaneria played most under the captaincy of Inzamam-ul-Haq. He said Inzaman and Younis Khan supported him the most.

“I played under Moin Khan, Rashid Latif, Inzy bhai, Younis bhai. I played very little under Afridi. Inzy bhai and Younis bhai supported me a lot and it is a fact. However, Inzy bhai doesn’t talk about me positively in public but I will always be thankful to him for his support. I flourished under him,” Kaneria added.

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