Former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has made serious allegations against his ex-teammate Shahid Afridi, accusing him of mistreatment towards him for being Hindu and also forcing Kaneria to convert to Islam.
In an exclusive interview with Zee News, Kaneria claimed that during his cricketing days in the Pakistan team, Afridi used to treat him badly and even pressurised him to change his religion to Islam.
Kaneria also alleged that the PCB board, including their former chairman Mohammed Ijaz Butt, didn’t pay head to his pleas or complaints and strategised to keep the spinner out of the team.
Here are some excerpts from the interview:
On how Afridi mistreated him
“Shoaib Akhtar was the first person to talk about my problem in public. Shahid Afridi was the only player who always tried to degrade me. We used to play together for the same department, he used to keep me on the bench and didn’t let me play the one-day tournament.”
“Senior players like Inzamam-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis, Akhtar, Moeen Khan, Rashid Latif always supported me.”
“Afridi used to bench me whenever he was the captain. He used to ruin my whole domestic season even when I was performing well.”
” I don’t know what issue Afridi had with me but he always downgraded me. All these incidents were mentally disturbing for me.”
On confronting Afridi
“I confronted Afridi numerous times. I tried to make him understand that he is mistreating me. However, I was luck that my other teammates were very supportive. I really enjoyed playing with them from the Day 1 of my career.”
On his life-ban
“Afridi never supported me when I was banned for life. Instead, he was happy with it. Also, I didn’t get any support from PCB when I got banned and Mohammed Ijaz Butt, who was the PCB chairman then, didn’t even give me a fair chance to present my case and ignored me.”
If Afridi forced him to convert to Islam
“Yes, Afridi used to often tell me to convert to Islam. But, I never used to take him seriously. I believe in my religion and it does not depend on cricket.”
Watch the full interview HERE to know more.