Waqar Younis Apologises For His Controversial 'Namaz In Front Of Hindus' Remark
Former Pakistan pace bowler Waqar Younis on Wednesday tendered an apology for the controversial remark he made after the Babar Azam-led side defeated India by 10 wickets in the ICC T20 World Cup 'Super 12' game on 24 October.
Waqar Younis took to Twitter and said: "In the heat of the moment, I said something which I did not mean which has hurt the sentiments of many. I apologise for this, this was not intended at all, genuine mistake. Sports unites people regardless of race, colour or religion."
In a discussion on ARY News channel earlier, Younis had stated that his favourite part was when cricketer Mohammad Rizwan read namaz on the ground amid Hindus.
"Sabse ache baat jo Rizwan ne ki. Usne ground mein khade hoke Naamaz padhi, hinduon ke beech mein...So that was really something very, very special for me. (What I liked most is what Rizwan did. He stood in the middle of the ground and read the prayers, in front of the Hindus)," Waqar was quoted as saying by Arya News.
Waqar's remark did not go down well with fans and irked several former Indian cricketers as well.
Reacting to his remarks, former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad called Waqar a shameless man. "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 shameless man," tweeted Prasad.
Harsha Bhogle had termed the remarks by the former Pakistani pacer as “dangerous” and said that the cricket world needed to be united and not divided by religion.
Bhogle said: “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.”
Former cricketer Shoaib Akhtar, who was part of the TV discussion, was seen smiling at Younis’ statement. Notably, the film ‘Pk’ by Indian actor Aamir Khan had partnered with ARY group for its release in Pakistan, where it was marketed as “a satire on Hindu gods and godmen” by Pakistan’s largest chain of movie complexes.
Since the Pakistan cricket team’s win over the Indian team — a first ever in the World Cup — Pakistani politicians and influencers have been describing it as a "religious victory over India".
While official ICC commentator for the World Cup, Bazid Khan, called it “destruction of kufr”, Pakistani interior minister Sheikh Rasheed termed it as a “victory of the entire Islamic world”.
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