T20 World Cup 2021: Harsha Bhogle slams Waqar Younis for his bigoted remark over Rizwan offering Namaz

Mohammad Rizwan offering Namaz during drinks break | Screengrab

Apart from the fierce on-field rivalry, healthy banter between fans and former cricketers are the highlights of any India-Pakistan clash.

However, things seem to have gone a bit out of hand this time around after Pakistan’s 10-wicket win over India in the ongoing T20 World Cup in Dubai.

On Tuesday (October 26), a video went viral on social media in which legendary Pakistan pacer Waqar Younis can be heard saying Mohammad Rizwan offering Namaz in front of Hindus, referring to Indian cricketers and fans, during the match was a very special moment for him.

For his bigoted comment, Waqar is receiving flak from different quarters on social media. In fact, some of his countrymen are also condemning his statement.

Veteran commentator Harsha Bhogle too slammed Waqar for his distasteful remark in a series of tweets, hoping that that latter will issue an apology.

“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 tweeted.

“I really hope that a lot of genuine sportslovers in Pakistan are able to see the dangerous side to this statement and join in my disappointment. It makes it very difficult for sportslovers like us to try and tell people it is just sport, just a cricket match,” he added.

“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,” he further stated.

Notably, a clip of Rizwan offering Namaz during a drink break had gone viral on social media. The video caught the attention of people around the world and Waqar Younis took the chance to bring religion into it.

Rizwan was one of the stars in Pakistan’s first-ever World Cup victory over India. He played an unbeaten knock of 55-ball 79* and shared an unbeaten 152-run stand with skipper Babar Azam (68 not out off 52 balls) to take his team over the line with 13 balls to spare while chasing the total of 151.