Ex-cricketers have condemned former all-rounder Abdul Razzaq use of an “inappropriate” analogy involving Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachan while commenting on the team’s recent performance, it emerged on Tuesday.
Razzaq made the controversial comments at a panel event promoting the ICC T20 World Cup 2024. In a video clip that has gone viral on social media, he said that intent mattered a lot in improving the performance of the team and its players.
He alleged that there was a lack of intent in the current setup on polishing and developing players. “If your thinking is that you marry Aishwarya Rai and expect a pious and virtuous child to be born, then that can never happen,” he had said.
Former fast-bowler Umar Gul and former skipper Shahid Afridi were also sitting beside Razzaq, both of whom were laughing and clapping at his comment.
Questioned about the incident while speaking on a talk show today on Samaa TV, Afridi said he was not paying attention to what Razzaq had said and only became aware of the comments after he came back home and saw the video clip.
Upon seeing the clip, “I felt very weird that ’come on [what is this?]”, Afridi said. He added that he would call up his former teammate to ask him to apologise for his remarks.
“It was a wrong joke and such jokes should not be made,” he said.
Former top-order batter Mohammad Yousuf also condemned Razzaq’s remarks, adding that he felt “sorry” as a cricketer.
“I hope he will be ashamed of what he said and apologise,” he said.
Former ace pace Shoaib Akhtar also strongly condemned Razzaq’s “inappropriate” comments.
“No woman should be disrespected like this,” he said, adding that people who were seated beside the player should also have “raised their voice right away rather than laughing or clapping”.
This is not the first such incident where Razzaq’s comments have landed him in hot water.
In September 2021, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority had imposed a fine of Rs200,000 on news channel Neo News for airing “insensitive, demeaning, derogatory and hateful” remarks by Razzaq and others against Pakistan women’s cricket team player Nida Dar.
In a video clip from the programme broadcast in June 2021, Razzaq was commenting on Dar’s appearance, strongly implying that the latter looked more like a man than a woman. The clip had caught the attention and ire of social media.