Kaneria Hurting After Contract Demotion

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has vowed to "prove people wrong" when Australia visit Pakistan next month after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) demoted his contract status.

The PCB handed the 27-year-old spinner a Grade-C contract, which under the new contract system puts him among the young and inexperienced members of the team.

Kaneria has played 51 Tests for his country since making his debut against England in 2000, and has claimed 220 wickets in that time to place him fifth amongst Pakistan's all-time wicket takers.

"In one way I don't feel I have to prove myself because I have shown what I can do already, but I am keen to prove people wrong and perform well against the very best when Australia arrive in March,"

Kaneria wrote in his diary on www.bigstarcricket.com.

"It is still hurting me. I have been Pakistan's highest wicket-taker for the last four years and am now one of the top three or four in terms of seniority having made my Test debut in 2001."

"I have played 51 Tests now and once I pass Abdul Qadir's 236 Test wickets, hopefully this year, I will then only have the fast bowlers ahead of me - Waqar Younis, Imran Khan and Wasim Akram."

"I just feel that achievement deserves a bit more respect. I am respected more when I play at Essex."

He added:

"But now I find myself bracketed with players who have just come into the Pakistan system and behind players like [Umar] Gul and [Mohammad] Asif, who are great bowlers but have not been able to stay fit much in the last six months and have not played as much cricket as me."

"I am not complaining and frustrated for financial reasons, it is just an embarrassment for me and it pains me very much. I have spoken with the PCB but there does not seem to be any sign that my situation is going to change."

While Kaneria has enjoyed success at Test level, he has been largely overlooked for one-day internationals, taking just 15 wickets in 18 appearances since his debut in 2001.

"Officials have said that part of the reason for my demotion is that I only play Test cricket, but this is not my fault,"

he added.

"I have always been desperate to be given a chance to prove myself as a wicket-taker in one-day internationals but never have had that opportunity on an extended basis.

"My behaviour has always been good on tours, I am rarely injured, what more do I have to do?"

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