Former Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria on Saturday accused all-rounder Shahid Afridi of treating him unfairly through his career, PTI reported.
Kaneria took 261 wickets in 61 Tests at an average of 34.79. The 39-year-old, a Hindu, thinks that religion could have played a part in his former captain treating him badly.
“He [Afridi] was always against me when we were playing for the same department in domestic cricket or playing me in ODIs,” Kaneria told PTI.
“If one person is always against you and you are in that situation, what other reason can you think of apart from that [religion]?
Kaneria recently supported former pacer Shoaib Akhtar’s claim that he was treated unfairly for being a religious minority in Pakistan. Kaneria only played 18 One-day Internationals between 2000 and 2010. The leg-spinner blamed Afridi for not having a longer limited-overs career.
“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.”
Kaneria added: “I was a leg-spinner and so was he. That was another reason [for me not being picked for ODIs]. 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 XI. 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.”
Kaneria was found guilty of spot-fixing alongside Mervyn Westfield while playing for English county Essex against Durham in 2009. He now aims to work for the Pakistan Cricket Board, if they back him.
He said: “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 played most of his cricket under the captaincy of batting great Inzamam-ul-Haq. He also reserved praise for Younis Khan.
“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 said.
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