Sunday, February 23, 2020

Pakistan discriminates against Hindu cricketers

Renu Kotwal

“A Hindu made us win test series against England,” said Former Pakistan’s cricketer Shoaib Akhtar. In an interview, former pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar revealed that Hindu cricketers are treated badly by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Shoaib is known for his fast bowling, short temperament and controversial statements. He said that Danish Kaneria, a Hindu Pakistani cricketer was not treated well by fellow teammates. He was even discriminated during official lunches and dinners. He was not allowed to share the same table and have food with the Pakistani cricket team.

He added that the officials were unhappy by the selection of a Hindu cricketer in Pakistan’s team. Shoaib further revealed that he defended Danish Kaneria but others were harsh on him.

According to Shoaib, other Pakistani cricketers showed distrust on Danish and said that he would not play well for Pakistan. The same Hindu made Pakistan win against England. Shoaib said that Danish was never given credit for his contribution in making Pakistan win in many matches.

After this revelation, Gautam Gambhir, former Indian cricketer and now Member Parliament from Delhi said that minorities are discriminated in Pakistan. Discrimination is the real face of Pakistan. He said that Mohammad Azharuddin led India in Cricket for a long time. India always treated its minorities with respect and equality.

Cricket has always worked for creating a connection in India and Pakistan. People wait for India and Pakistan cricket matches like a festival. The increasing tensions on the border made both governments and cricket control boards seize the sports exchange between the neighbouring countries. The last match played between India and Pakistan was in the world cup series. Only international group series is being played between India and Pakistan in cricket. During the cricket world cup, many Indian cricketers supported boycotting matches with Pakistan. It was against International Cricket Council (ICC) rules  so India did play with Pakistan. However, no separate series which includes only India and Pakistan is being played.

Pakistani players are banned in the famous domestic format of India, Indian premier league (IPL) too. The increasing political tensions and border tensions in past couple of years made India-Pakistan relations sour. ‌Pakistan was declared unsafe for international cricket after Sri Lankan players were injured on March 3, 2009 in a terrorist attack. Though English countries are playing in Pakistan to revive it as an international spot for cricket matches, Pakistani cricketers often admit that the condition of cricket in Pakistan has worsened in terms of infrastructure and other facilities. Pakistan keeps inviting other countries for cricket matches but security reasons are standing as a hurdle in reviving the old days of Pakistan’s cricket.

India and Pakistan are dealing with Hindu-Muslim politics and in such scenario, Shoaib Akhtar’s narration about discrimination with a Pakistani Hindu cricketer is making headlines. According to sources, Danish Kaneria also admitted that he was alienated by his team and being a minority he was afraid to talk about it.

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