Abdul Razzaq, the former Pakistan cricketer, has issued a public apology following criticism for a controversial statement involving Indian actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. In a video posted in the late hours of Tuesday, Razzaq addressed a statement lasting 27 seconds, recognizing an ‘unintentional’ slip of the tongue during a press conference focused on cricket coaching. It was in this conference where Razzaq made the derogatory remark; the Pakistan all-rounder was seated alongside fellow former cricketers Shahid Afridi and Umar Gul, who were seen laughing at the remark as well.
“I am Abdul Razzaq…yesterday, during the press conference, we were discussing cricket coaching and intentions. I had a slip of the tongue and mistakenly took Aishwarya Rai’s name. I apologize to her personally. I did not intend to hurt anyone. I had to give some other example, but mistakenly used her name,” Razzaq stated in the video posted by Capital TV on YouTube.
Following his highly insensitive remark, Razzaq received widespread criticism from fans across social media platforms and the all-rounder’s own former teammate, Shoaib Akhtar, had condemned the remark on his official X account. “I highly condemn the inappropriate joke comparison made by Razzaq. No woman should be disrespected like this. People seated beside him should have raised their voice right away rather than laughing & clapping,” Akhtar wrote.
A few hours later, Akhtar posted that he talked to Afridi regarding the incident and that the former Pakistan captain stated he “did not understand” Razzaq’s remark. “I just had a word with @SAfridiOfficial. He called & said that he genuinely did not understand what was said otherwise he would have condemned it there & then. He has condemned it on TV as well and in clear words with me on the phone,” wrote the former pacer.
Earlier, another controversy erupted on Tuesday when an old video of former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq went viral, where he claimed that India’s star former spinner Harbhajan Singh had expressed his desire to convert to Islam following the preaching of Maulana Tariq Jameel.
Harbhajan reacted rather strongly to the claim, attacking Inzamam in an explosive post on his official X profile. “Yeh kon sa nasha pee kar baat kar raha hai ? I am a proud Indian and proud Sikh..yeh Bakwaas log kuch bi bakte hai (What was he drinking before speaking such nonsense? I am a proud Indian and a proud Sikh)” Harbhajan wrote.