A day after Shoaib Akhtar made startling revelations about the treatment meted out to Danish Kaneria, a Hindu playing for the Pakistani Cricket team from 2000 to 2010, the spinner has now admitted to facing unimaginable discrimination and humiliation from his teammates.
Danish Kaneria took 276 international wickets and more than 1000 first-class ones. In 61 test matches played, Kaneria took 261 wickets. The Pakistani state ruined the career of a budding cricket-star, only after brutally humiliating him for the religion he practiced. Shoaib Akhtar had said that many even hesitated and resisted having food with Kaneria.
Now, in a statement, Danish has held all these claims to be true. “Today, I saw the interview of the legendary bowler Shoaib Akhtar. I personally thank him for telling the truth. At the same time, I am grateful to all the players who supported me wholeheartedly as a cricketer. Also thankful to media, genuine cricket administrators, and citizens of Pakistan who supported me regardless of my religious affiliation,” he said.
He further added how the Pakistani state was not helping him, yet all other cricketers were receiving favours. “At the same time, my life is not in a good shape and I approached many individuals in Pakistan and around the world to resolve my issues. Yet, I have not received any help. Issues of many cricketers of Pakistan have been resolved though.”
Whatever @shoaib100mph said in his interview is true. But at the same time, i am thankful to all great players who supported me wholeheartedly as a cricketer. I personally request all not to politicise the issue. Here is my statement: pic.twitter.com/8vN3Kilm4W
— Danish Kaneria (@DanishKaneria_) December 26, 2019
Interestingly, Danish has also gathered the courage and said, “Those who did not support me, I will make their names public soon.” He also said that before Shoiab Akhtar made these revelations, he could not have spoken out himself, nor did he have the courage to do so. Only after Shoaib’s revelations has Danish realised that he may not be entirely alone. It will be interesting to see who all Danish decides to name. The inherent xenophobia of Pakistani players is well known, however, them being named will only be a small justice for the minorities of Pakistan who have been facing humiliation at the hands of the majority community in Pakistan.
Danish’s statement also drives home another important point. If a star cricketer like him is also fearful of speaking out about his ordeal, we can only imagine how the common minority citizens of Pakistan may be facing. With the raging debate about India giving Citizenship to the persecuted minorities of Pakistan, it must be remembered that those against the legislation have never felt the pain of living under fear and subjugation, and have been served an Indian citizenship on a platter. It is only imperative upon India to provide shelter to such people who face unimaginable atrocities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Danish Kaneria’s case should serve as a reminder to all those who question India’s treatment of its minorities. It must be mentioned that India has had innumerable players from the minority communities, unlike Pakistan. The rot within the Pakistani state is so deep that its minorities are treated as sub-humans.