Pakistan have secured two wins in two games in the ongoing T20 World Cup and have gone one step closer to secure their berth in the semi-finals. They have been brilliant in the early part of Super 12 as they have earned emphatic wins against two of the most difficult opponents in their group in form of India and New Zealand.
Babar Azam and Co. have certainly received praise from experts across the globe for their fantastic performance in the tournament so far. However, the recent comments from former Pakistani pacer Waqar Younis have not gone down well with the cricket fraternity.
In an interaction during a prime-time news show in Pakistan, Waqar Younis said, “Mohammad Rizwan ne Hinduon ke beech me khade hoke namaaz padhi, that was very very special for me.”
Watch the video here:
"Rizwan offered Namaz during #INDvPAK match in middle of Hindus was most satisfying thing Mashallah, even more than his batting"
– Waqar Younis & Shoaib Akhtar discusspic.twitter.com/ELTVJSTqh4
— Pakistan Untold (@pakistan_untold) October 26, 2021
“One of the most disappointing things I have heard” – Harsha Bhogle reacts
Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle, who usually does not react on sensitive issues like this, could not control himself from expressing his disappointment on Waqar Younis’ comments. The 60-year-old tweeted, “For a person of Waqar Younis’ stature to say that watching Rizwan offering namaz in front of Hindus was very special to him, is one of the most disappointing things I have heard. A lot of us try hard to play such things down and talk up sport and to hear this is terrible.”
For a person of Waqar Younis' stature to say that watching Rizwan offering namaz in front of Hindus was very special to him, is one of the most disappointing things I have heard. A lot of us try hard to play such things down and talk up sport and to hear this is terrible.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 26, 2021
Bhogle added, “I really hope that a lot of genuine sportslovers in Pakistan are able to see the dangerous side to this statement and join in my disappointment. It makes it very difficult for sportslovers like us to try and tell people it is just sport, just a cricket match.”
“You would think that cricketers, as ambassadors of our game, would be a little more responsible. I am sure there will be an apology on the way from Waqar. We need to unite the cricket world, not divide it by religion,” he concluded.
Waqar Younis faces backlash on social media
As more and more people saw the video of Waqar Younis’ comments on social media, the backlash against the former Pakistani pacer began on Twitter. While cricket journalist Vikrant Gupta claimed that the 49-year-old has let his own country down with his statement, former Indian fast bowler Venkatesh Prasad also expressed his disappointment.
Waqar Younis didn’t make a mistake. He said what he said on purpose. If this is what One Win can do to your thinking, you’ve just let down your own country
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) October 26, 2021
"Hinduon ke beech me khade hoke namaaz padi, that was very very special for me" – Waqar .
Takes jihadi mindset of another level to say this in a sport. What a shameful man.
— Venkatesh Prasad (@venkateshprasad) October 26, 2021
Waqar Younis gloating over ‘namaz among Hindus’ is no shock or surprise. Cricketing talent is no cure for illiteracy, idiocy & bigotry. It’s disappointing only because it shuts up those few like us who’ve been batting for resuming bilateral sports with Pakistan. Not worth it.
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) October 26, 2021