Former Pakistani cricketer Waqar Younis has come under severe criticism for a distasteful and controversial comment made during a chat show in connection with India vs Pakistan T20 match played last Sunday.

Waqar Younis
Waqar Younis.Reuters

What did Waqar Younis Say?
Waqar Younis, who was one of the panelists on a show aired on ARY News, praised the performance of the Pakistan team, which defeated India at the recently-held match in Dubai.

In the course of the show, the former Pakistan captain said, "The manner in which Babar and Rizwan batted, sensible yet aggressive, the strike-rotation, the look on their faces, it was amazing. The best thing, what Rizwan did, Mashalla, he offered the Namaz on the ground surrounded by Hindus, that was really something very very special for me."

His comments triggered outrage as genuine cricket lovers were unhappy with the comments bringing religion to the sports. The fans, who had condemned a section of netizens for abusing Mohammad Shami over his poor performance, has criticised him for making such a statement.

Despite fighting hard on the field, Pakistan and Indian cricketers share a good relationship and have mutual respect. Even Virat Kohli had whole-heartedly congratulated the young boys after losing the match. So, bringing religion to sports has not gone well with the fans.

Cricketers Criticise
Well-known cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle, expressing his disappointment, tweeted, "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."

Bhogle further said that Waqar Younis should apologise for his remarks. "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. [sic]"

Former cricketer and current PCB chairman Ramiz Raja slammed Younis and tweeted, "Not surprised at all. I can tell by my own experience, A guy who is racist about his own country's languages and cities can easily say this kinda negative remark about religious differences. #alwaysbitter #alwaysnegative. [sic]"

Likewise, many on Twitter have condemned the former cricketer's comments.

Raza Ahmad Rumi: Shameful remarks #waqaryounis -- there is a large Muslim community in India. We have millions of Hindus living in Pakistan.
Sport is sport, not a battle of religions.

Sreejith Panickar: #MohammadRizwan doing namaz amid 'Hindus' after the win against India was very special for #WaqarYounis! Pakistan never ceases to amaze us with such !diots who mix sports & religion. Remember Ahmed Shehzad who tried to convert Tillakaratne Dilshan?

GK: Shocking !! Didn't expect such glaring remarks from a former and established cricketer like #WaqarYounis
@waqyounis99 we majority of Hindus provide conducive conditions for our muslim brothers if they perform Namaz & we even switch off speakers during azaan

Suvajit Mustafi: Out of all people, it was #waqaryounis. The childhood heroes keep shocking me.
Someone offering namaaz in front of us Hindus is a common occurrence here. We also attend Iftars and wish for each other's well-being.
Respect for the great cricketer goes here.

Anand Dahihandekar: What a shameful person #waqaryounis is ! Beneath the veneer of sophistication an extremist lurks! ordinary Pakistanis here in London were asking us to join in their dance in celebration - all in food humour!

Krishna Kant Sharma: Fed on fanaticism & religious bigotry, Pakistani society has become intolerant & hate filled for other faiths & religions
What #WaqarYounis did isn't surprising at all
Pakistani sportsmen have often described playing against India as jihad
The two nation theory is alive & ticking