Mumbai—Pakistani leg-break Pakistani bowler Danish Kaneria was at Sai Baba’s feet on Wednesday. He is in India with his wife (Dharmita) and mother (Babita). They reached Shirdi on Tuesday night and stayed in a hotel there. Before arriving in Mumbai on Thursday, the family was expected to stay Wednesday’s night in Nashik. This was confirmed by Mumbra-based colleague Rajeshwar Patil, who picked them from Mumbai to Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar district on Tuesday afternoon.
Speaking exclusively over his mobile, Kaneria said, “this is my pilgrimage visit to this country. My forefathers had come here and I thought of seeking blessings of God Shani and also Sai Baba in Shirdi”. Kaneria was born to Hindu family in Karachi. His family is originally from Surat (Gujarat). When specifically asked whether has he any plan to settle in India, he denied it initially. “People are speculating about me. They say I am in Kerala but no, I am not in Kerala and I am very much here in Shirdi charging my phone at one of the shops here”. He, however, turned down this reporter’s request of allowing to speak to his wife, Dharmita. “She is inside the temple and you can’t speak to her now”, he said.
Again when asked whether he has been seeking asylum in India, Danesh denied again, adding, “I shall follow my spiritual Guru’s advice and you can very well speak to him. His name is Sri Sarvabhoot Sharonam”. Interestingly, the details provided by him about the spiritual Guru is in Delhi and when contacted, his assistant called Rajeshwar Singh said, “Danesh’s spiritual Guru is also an astrologer and meet only the “selected persons”.
“Danesh will be visiting him here on 8th June, we are told The bowler was life-banned by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for his alleged role in match-fixing. His appeal against the ban was rejected and thus the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has also not “entertained” him. “I still maintain I am innocent but nobody in Pakistan is supporting me. I have even written several letters to the Prime Minister but no success is yet met”. Kaneria is not sure whom he would meet in India to prove his innocence.
He, however, liked the suggestion put forward by this Reporter to seek ICC chairman Shashank Manohar’s appointment and explain him his position. “Yes, that’s a good suggestion and I will certainly think over it”, he added. Kaneria is likely to be in India for ten days. His family visa to India is being sponsored by his friend, it is also learnt here.