Former Pakistan captain and chief selector Inzamam Ul Haq turned down Danish Kaneria’s claims regarding religious discrimination. He recalled an incident when his Indian counterpart Sourav Ganguly sent him food, and he accepted it.
Inzamam said on his YouTube channel,” Religion has no role to play in cricket. Kaneria was preferred over Saqlain Mushtaq even though Mushi (Mushtaq Ahmed) was a good friend of mine. It was because the management believed that he was the country’s future.
The former captain said , “I had heard 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.”
Inzi added, “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 mistreats another player if he is a non-Muslim. I never noted even a single example of any such thing in our team.”
Inzamam Ul Haq cited the example of Mohammad Yousuf in this context,” 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 thought any such thing before, I don’t think he would have converted.”
Inzamam Ul Haq also said that Pakistanis had big hearts, and they accepted everyone happily. The legendary batsman 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.”
Inzamam Ul Haq rubbished DK’s claims with the examples of pleasant relations between INDO-PAK cricketers. He said, “In 2004, India came to Pakistan after 15 years, and Pakistanis welcomed them with open arms. Wherever they went to eat, shopping, go to a taxi, nobody took money from them.”
The former Pakistani skipper continued,” One year later we had a tour of India, I was the captain on both visits. The same reply we got from India, they opened the doors of their houses and invited us to stay as guests. They made food; they didn’t take money for shopping.”
Sourav Would Send Me Food From His Restaurant, And I Used To Eat It: Inzamam Ul Haq
As stated by Hindustantimes Inzamam Ul Haq recalled an amusing incident from the past. He said, “There is so much love between the people of the two countries so I don’t think that any such thing can be possible, that our hearts can be so small. I was the captain of the team at the time, and this isn’t correct.”
“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.”
“When we went on tours like in Sharjah, we used to be in the same hotel, and I often used to see players of teams sitting in each other’s rooms, joking around and eating together. So from both sides, I never saw any such thing.”