In a shocking revelation, legendary speedster Shoaib Akhtar has claimed that banned Pakistani cricketer Danish Kaneria used to be treated unfairly by his teammates because he is a Hindu.
The statement from the 44-year-old former pacer came during a talk show titled "Game on Hai".
During the chat show, Akhtar 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 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 said in 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 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.
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.