Former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar’s recent comments about former leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has started a debate. According to Akhtar, Kaneria had to face discrimination on the basis of his religion while he was in the team. Kaneria has also shared his side of the story.
The latest person to speak about this issue is former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq. According to him, religion plays no role in cricket. He took to his YouTube channel to present his views.
Inzamam said, “I have been hearing about this controversy with Danish, that when he played then some boys didn’t think well about him or didn’t want to eat with him or go out with him.”
“The captain who Danish played the most under is me, and I never felt this thing, that there is any such thing in our team, that any player treats another player badly if he is a non-Muslim. I never noted even a single example of any such thing in our team.”
He added, “Like there was Yousuf in the team and he was a non-Muslim but by the grace of Allah, he became a Muslim and became Mohammad Yousuf. He never felt anything before when he was Yousuf Youhana or after conversion. If he felt any such thing before, I don’t think he would have converted.
He says he cannot accept that Pakistanis would have such small hearts to discriminate against someone on the basis of their religion.
He said, “I am not ready to accept that we have such small hearts that we did a thing like this, that we didn’t accept someone. I think Pakistanis have big hearts and we can accept everyone in our hearts.”
Recalling instances from his past, the former captain also said “The claim that we don’t like eating together – Before the 2005 tour of India, I had gone there for a shoot in Kolkata. Ganguly was there from the Indian side and just before that, he opened a restaurant that Sachin and I inaugurated. Sourav would send me food from his restaurant and I used to eat it.”
Inzamam gave quite a few pointers to support his stand Check out this video: