After making a controversial statement about Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan offering “Namaz” during the drinks break in the game against India while speaking for a Pakistan Television channel, former Pakistan player Waqar Younis issued an apology on Wednesday. He said that he made the statement “in the heat of the moment” and accepted it as a “genuine mistake”. However, reactions condemning him are pouring in social media platforms with many claiming that the cricketer meant every word he uttered.
As soon as Waqar made the statement on air, commentator and cricket analyst Harsha Bhogle expressed his displeasure over it, along with many others including former Indian opening batsman Wasim Jaffer. While addressing millions of people through the television channel, Waqar said “Rizwan offered Namaz during #INDvPAK match in middle of Hindus was most satisfying thing Mashallah, even more than his batting” with the presence Shoaib Akthar, former Pakistan pacer.
Reacting to his statement, Harsha Bhogle said “I really hope that a lot of genuine sports lovers in Pakistan are able to see the dangerous side to this statement and join in my disappointment. It makes it very difficult for sports lovers 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” through his tweets.
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
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— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 26, 2021
“Absolutely vile and disgusting comments from Waqar Younis. #Shameful” Wasim Jaffer said in his tweet.
Absolutely vile and disgusting comments from Waqar Younis. #Shameful— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) October 27, 2021
Many other former cricketers and fans from both the countries expressed their displeasure over the statement made by Younis , as a result of which the former cricketer came up with an apology through his official twitter handle. “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. #apologies” read his apology tweet.
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. #apologies 🙏🏻— Waqar Younis (@waqyounis99) October 26, 2021
However, people who couldn’t accept his apology continued to slam him for the way he attempted to divide people through religion.
Ohh you meant every word of it. There was no heat there, you guys were rejoicing the victory. Stop this fake brotherhood, now that your masks are falling off 👎👎— Nisha (@nish_aaaa) October 26, 2021
What was in your heart came out as words. But saying this on public television???Disappointed that despite living in a multicultural city like Sydney, Castle Hill, your mindset didn't change.— Krushna (@govindagopala) October 27, 2021
In the heat of the moment, you spoke what is deeply rooted inside of you. This apology is only coming after the immense reaction you have faced.— Arsalan Zia William (@arsalanwilliam) October 26, 2021
You have spent your whole life with international exposure and multi-cultural engagement and yet you hold such views.
Gah! In the heat of the moment is when one shows the real character. This apology is fake. That naked display of bigotry, was real.— Abhishek Singh (@abhishekprelog) October 26, 2021
Heat of moment is true reflection of one’s integrity.— Aabhas Maldahiyar 🇮🇳 (@Aabhas24) October 27, 2021
You have proven that irrespective of how long Indian Players keep seeing you as brother, you have thick line drawn which divides it into:
KAFIRS & MOMINS!