New Delhi: Danish Kaneria was the second Hindu player on the Pakistan cricket team after his maternal uncle Anil Dalpat, who took 261 wickets in 61 Tests at an average of 34.79. Kaneria was found guilty of spot-fixing in 2009.

Indian social media users are asking Kaneria to seek Indian citizenship under the new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) after he confirmed facing mistreatment and discrimination while playing for the Pakistani national cricket team as a minority Hindu in the country.

A huge controversy sprung up on Thursday after former Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar alleged that his teammate Kaneria faced discrimination at the hands of some Pakistani cricketers due to his faith. He was never given due credit for his performances and other teammates were reluctant to even share food with him. And Kaneria responded in affirmation.

In a tweet, Kaneria thanked Pakistani players for their support but did not want the issue to be politicised.

“Whatever @shoaib100mph said in his interview is true. But at the same time, i am thankful to all great players who supported me wholeheartedly as a cricketer. I personally request all not to politicise the issue,” said Kaneria.

Speaking to India media, Kaneria thanked Akhtar for telling the truth and supporting him. He also sought the help of the cricket administrators and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying that his life is “not in good shape”, reported ANI.

"My life is not in good shape and I am approached by many individuals in Pakistan and around the world to resolve my issues. Yet, I have not received any help. Issues of many cricketers in Pakistan have been resolved though. I need support from the honourable Prime Minister Imran Khan to help me out," said Kaneria over the phone.

Akhtar made the revelation on Thursday 26 December during a show called “Game on Hai” aired on PTV Sports.

“During my career, I fought with two-three (in the team) when they talked about regionalism. Things like ‘who is from Karachi, Punjab or Peshawar’ that used to infuriate me,” said Akhtar.
“They used to say why is he taking food from this place?” he added. “The same Hindu won the Test for us against England. If he is taking a bagful of wickets for Pakistan, he should play. We could not have won the series without Kaneria’s effort. But not many gave him credit for that.”

The controversy has triggered a row in India with politicians and netizens fuming over the alleged mistreatment of the minority Hindu player and asking him to take Indian citizenship.

On the other hand, several slammed the opponents of the CAA, which seeks to provide citizenship to persecuted religious minorities from three neighbouring Islamic countries.