Former Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria has alleged that he faced persistent pressure to convert to Islam while playing for the Pakistan national cricket team.

Danish Kaneria has recently reignited a contentious incident from 2014 involving Pakistan cricketer Ahmed Shehzad and Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan. In the controversial video, Shehzad had offered unsolicited religious advice to Dilshan during an ODI match, which quickly became a viral controversy.

Shehzad stated, “if you are a non-Muslim and you turn Muslim, no matter whatever you do in your life, (you will go) straight to heaven,” to which Dilshan’s response was inaudible. This led Shehzad to retort, “then be ready for the fire.”

Danish Kaneria has shared this video on social media and suggested that he faced constant pressure to convert to Islam while playing for the Pakistan national cricket team. He revealed that this pressure was a daily occurrence, happening in various settings, including the dressing room, on the field, and even during meals.

“Be it the dressing room, the playground or the dining table, this happened to me every day,” Kaneria wrote on his post.

It’s worth noting that Danish Kaneria is one of the rare non-Muslim cricketers who had the opportunity to represent the Pakistan national cricket team. He followed in the footsteps of Anil Dalpat as the second Hindu cricketer to play for Pakistan.

In a separate video clip, Kaneria voiced his criticism of former fast-bowling legend Waqar Younis for a statement he made after the 2021 T20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan. Waqar had highlighted the moment as “very special” when Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan performed Namaz (Islamic prayers) on the cricket ground, particularly in front of Hindu fans. However, Waqar later issued an apology for his comments.

Kaneria’s caption for the video conveyed his concern, suggesting that prioritizing religious gestures over the cricket match was problematic.

Shoaib Akhtar, the renowned Pakistan pace bowler, has previously supported Kaneria’s claims, stating that concerns were expressed when the former spinner shared meals with fellow players. Akhtar highlighted the captain’s disapproving reactions to Kaneria dining with the team and taking food from the same table during his appearance on the cricket show, Game On Hai.

“Captain would raise eyebrows about him eating with us or taking the food from the same table. I told him that you could be the captain but your conduct is despicable. This guy (Kaneria) is chalking up so many wickets to win matches for us and you’re treating him like this,” Akhtar had said.

Last Updated on October 16, 2023

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