Religious Identity and the Cricket Field: Danish Kaneria Opens Up on Discrimination and Unanswered Allegations
In recent times, Danish Kaneria, a former Hindu cricketer from Pakistan, has courageously stepped forward to bring to light the discrimination and injustice he endured during his cricketing career. In an exclusive interview with renowned Pakistani journalist Arzu Kazmi, Kaneria revealed the distressing treatment he received from senior officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). His narrative shines a harsh light on the discrimination he faced, rooted in his Hindu identity, and the inadequate support he received as a result.
To provide some context, in 2013, Danish Kaneria was embroiled in a major scandal when he was accused of involvement in spot-fixing during county cricket matches in England. Subsequently, he was found guilty of these allegations, leading to the imposition of a lifetime ban by the PCB. For nearly a decade, Kaneria has been waging a relentless battle to have these charges reevaluated and the ban overturned. He contends that he was subjected to unwarranted pressure to confess to the charges, further underscoring the complexity of his predicament.
One crucial aspect of Kaneria's revelations is that the spot-fixing allegations were related to county cricket, not international fixtures. This detail is significant because it underscores the need to differentiate between internal and international matters and treat them accordingly.
In his conversation with Arzu Kazmi, Kaneria disclosed an alarming fact: the individual who introduced him to spot-fixing was well-known to several high-ranking officials within the PCB. He named prominent figures such as Shahid Afridi and Inzamam-ul-Haq, who were acquainted with this individual and had connections to his own involvement in spot-fixing. Kaneria further noted that the Justice Qayyum report had documented the names of all individuals who would go on to represent Pakistan in cricket, suggesting that the PCB was aware of the situation but failed to take adequate action.
Adding to the complexity of the issue, Kaneria identified certain Pakistani cricketers who had served sentences in English prisons for their involvement in fixing allegations and later resumed their careers representing Pakistan. This disparity raises pressing questions about the fairness of the treatment meted out to Kaneria, who has remained plagued by these allegations for almost a decade.
In his own words, Danish Kaneria expressed the heart-wrenching sentiment that he was penalized solely for being a Hindu and that he received no assistance or support during his ordeal. He even sought help from the Pakistani government but to no avail. The consequences have been severe, with his life irreparably shattered, while those initially implicated in fixing allegations have returned to the field.
- PTC PUNJABI