Banned Pakistan cricketer Danish Kaneria has sought support from Prime Minister Imran Khan as well as cricket administrators of Pakistan and other countries, saying that his life is not in good shape.
The 39-year-old's statement came after legendary speedster Shoaib Akhtar revealed in a talk show titled "Game on Hai" that Kaneria used to be treated unfairly by his teammates during his playing days because he is a Hindu.
In a statement, Kaneria thanked legendary bowler Akhtar for telling the truth to the world besides also acknowledging all great players and genuine cricket administrators for supporting him wholeheartedly as a cricketer irrespective of his religion.
"Today, I saw the TV interview of the legendary bowler Shoaib Akhtar. I personally thank him for telling the truth to the world. At the same time, I am thankful to all great 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," the former spinner said.
Kaneria, who is standing at the fourth spot in the list of bowlers with most Test wickets for Pakistan behind Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Imran Khan, was handed a lifetime ban by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2012 over spot-fixing allegations against him.
While reflecting on his current state, Kaneria urged honourable Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan cricket administrators to help him get out of the mess.
"At the same, my life is not in 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. I gave everything possible for Pakistan as a cricketer and I am very proud of it. And I in the hour of need I am positive that the people of Pakistan will help," Kaneria said.
"I need support from all legendary players of Pakistan including Honourable Prime Minister Imran Khan, cricket administrators of Pakistan and other countries to get me out the mess. Please come forward and help me out. I personally request all not to politicise the issue," the former Pakistan spinner added.
Earlier, Akhtar had revealed that Kaneria had faced discrimination from his Pakistan teammates, who even used to refuse lunch with him during his playing days because of his religion.
Akhtar had further said that the talks of ‘who is from Karachi, Punjab or Peshawar’ used to irk him a lot.
"The number of times I have had to argue with people during my cricketing career was on the issues of Karachi, Punjab, Peshawar. I used to get outrageous when things like ‘who is from Karachi, Punjab or Peshawar’ were brought up. A Hindu born in Pakistan is entitled to represent the country," Akhtar had said during an interview.
"When that Hindu helped us in winning the Test series against England in 2005, I was quite upset with my teammates for treating him differently. Danish had helped us in winning that series. Some used to say as to why he is eating with us or taking the food from the same table," he had added.
Kaneria is only the second Hindu player after his maternal uncle Anil Dalpat to represent Pakistan in international cricket. He bagged a total of 261 wickets in 61 Tests he played for his national side besides claiming 15 wickets in 18 ODIs.