Not too long ago, Danish Kaneria was the first choice bowler of Pakistan cricket team. Danish was the face of spin attack for the country. The talented leg spinner represented Pakistan in 61 Tests. He had a bowling average of 34.79 and economy rate of 3.07. The only significant leg spinner Pakistan have got after great Abdul Qadir and Mushtaq Ahmed. Both were the shining stars of their era.
Talent and Beginning
Danish had his share of praising and appreciation immediately after he stepped in to international cricket. At time when Pakistan team needed a full time spinner, Danish Kaneria took the responsibility and to some extent helped Pakistan after the departure of Saqlain Mushtaq. Danish Kaneria had this significant amount of turn and swing. His spin urged skippers to rely on him for longer spells specially in 5 days game. Richie Benaud was impressed by his performance and termed him as best after Abdul Qadir. However Benaud suggested some improvements but over all the start of Danish Kaneria’s career was the best possible first impression one could have achieved.
Poor Fielding and Danish Kaneria’s Stats
Pakistan have this poor fielding issues since ages. There are only few among the long list of cricketers in Pakistan who were good in the field. Imran Nazir on top where as Afridi, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik and Hafeez were also initially counted as good fieldsmen. But later they turned down all the expectations. Kaneria’s disguised spin and turn produced many Caught Behind, slips catches and stump chances. But the poor fielding by Pakistan fields specially behind the wickets and with all due respect Kamran Akmal, all these factors affected Kaneria’s stats massively and in every match there were 2, 3 chances which were turned down by his team mates.
The Turning Point
Kaneria’s career had a turning point. Kaneria had his limo ride in years 2004-06, and in late 2009, along with his fellow team mate Mervyn Westfield, Kaneria faced spot fixing charges. Westfield then claimed that Kaneria forced him to under perform for 6000 Pounds. Kaneria got arrested for time being by English police but later they released him on bail. A verdict came in 2012 from ECB putting a life time ban on Kaneria. This was the last nail in his career’s coffin.
Kaneria believes that PCB was equally responsible for this disaster. I was not even charged neither I was jailed unlike Muhammad Asif, Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir, claimed Kaneria in one of his interviews. PCB never showed interest in my case and I was left helpless and had to fight my case individually. Kaneria termed this biased attitude of PCB as descrimination of being a Hindu in Pakistan Team. And somehow this claim looks valid, as Mohammad Amir was given a fair chance of comeback even after being convicted.