Former India cricketers Venkatesh Prasad, Aakash Chopra, and noted commentator Harsha Bhogle on Tuesday slammed former Pakistan cricketer Waqar Younis for his controversial statement that opener Mohammad Rizwan said “praying in front of Hindus was very special to him”. “.
Rizwan, who emerged as a hero in Pakistan’s historic win over India in the ICC World T20, offered prayers during a drink break in Dubai. On Sunday, a video of Rizwan offering prayers during the drinks break of the match went viral.
In a conversation with Shoaib Akhtar and a Pakistani journalist, former Pakistan bowling coach Waqar said that offering prayers during the Rizwan match was a special moment for him.
“Sabse ache baat jo Rizwan ne ki. Usne ground mein khade hoke naamaz padhe, hinduon ke beech mein…so that was really special to me. (What I liked the most, Rizwan did it. He stood in the middle of the field and offered namaz in front of Hindus),” Waqar was quoted as saying by Arya News.
Waqar’s comment did not go down well with the fans and it also angered some former Indian cricketers.
Responding to his remarks, former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad called Waqar a shameless man.
“Hinduon ke beech me khade hoke namaaz padhe, that was very very special for me” – Waqar. Takes jihadi To say so in a game is another level mentality. What a shameless man,” tweeted Prasad.
“Namaz was offered while standing in the midst of Hindus, that was very special to me” – Waqar. To say this in a game takes another level of jihadist mindset. What a shameful man.- Venkatesh Prasad (@venkateshprasad) 26 October 2021
Meanwhile, renowned Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle also took to Twitter and termed the former cricketer’s statement as one of the most disappointing things he has heard recently.
“For a man of Waqar Younis stature to say that it was very special for him to see Rizwan offering prayers in front of Hindus is one of the most depressing things I have heard. A lot of us try too hard to play things like this and talk about the game and it’s terrible to hear,” Bhogle shared a lengthy thread about Younis’ controversial statement on Twitter.
You would think that cricketers, as ambassadors of our sport, would be somewhat more responsible. I am sure Waqar will apologize on the way. We need to unite the cricket world, not divide it by religion- Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) 26 October 2021
“You would think that cricketers, as ambassadors of our sport, would be a little more responsible. I am sure Waqar will apologize on the way. We need to unite the world of cricket, not divide it by religion.
“I really hope that a lot of genuine sports lovers in Pakistan will see the dangerous side of this statement and join my dismay. It becomes very difficult for sports lovers like us to tell people that it is just sports. It’s just a cricket match.”
Taking cognizance of Waqar’s comment, cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra also tweeted, “At tu Waqar!”
Babar Azam-led Pakistan team defeated Virat Kohli’s India by 10 wickets in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 match played in Dubai on Sunday. Prior to this game, Pakistan had never won a World Cup match against India in any format.