Kaneria upset for not being considered for main contract

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Lahore, Feb 6 (UNI) Upset over not being considered for the main central contract, leg-spinner Danish Kaneria gave vent to his frustration, saying his contribution to cricket in the country has not been appreciated.

''I have been Pakistan's highest wicket-taker for the last four years and I am now one of the top three or four in terms of seniority having made my Test debut in 2001,'' he said.

Kaneria said, ''My achievement of being among the country's top five bowlers with over 200 Test wickets deserved a bit more respect.'' The spinner was recently demoted to category C in the central contracts and despite his 51 Test appearances bracketed along with junior players like Fawad Alam who has played just four one-day internationals.

He was also told to attend a two-week spinners' specialised camp in Lahore under the supervision of former Test spinners, Intikhab Alam and Tauseef Ahmed.

''I went into the camp with a great deal of frustration having been demoted in the Pakistan Cricket Board contracts ratings system.

It is still hurting me,'' Kaneria wrote in a column for a website.

Kaneria asserted that his achievements were second only to greats like Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis and ''I did not deserve to be demoted in the contracts list.'' ''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 said.

''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.'' He said the reasaon given to '' me for my demotion is that I only play Test cricket, but this is not my fault. 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?'' Kanaria said, ''I do not 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. I just keep praying that they will be able to travel to Pakistan as I am excited about the challenge.'' UNI XC HSB RKM RN1510

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