Former Pakistani all-rounder Abdul Razzaq has found himself in the midst of controversy, with Shahid Afridi and Umar Gul also facing backlash, following the circulation of a video in which Razzaq made an inappropriate joke about Indian actress Aishwarya Rai. The footage shows both ex-cricketers laughing and applauding at the comment.

The incident took place during a show attended by Pakistani former cricketers to discuss the disappointing performance of Babar Azam’s team in the World Cup 2023, resulting in Pakistan’s exit in the group stage.

While discussing the leadership of former captain Younis Khan and the “intentions” of the current Pakistani players, Abdul Razzaq made a peculiar analogy about someone aspiring to have a virtuous child with Aishwarya Rai.

Razzaq stated, “Younis Khan had good intentions as a captain, and it gave me confidence to perform better. Everyone here is talking about intentions and Pakistan’s team. Actually, we don’t have good intentions to develop and polish players in Pakistan. If you think that by marrying Aishwarya Rai, a good and pious kid would be born, it would never happen.”

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The video quickly spread on social media, prompting criticism of Razzaq for his comments. Fans online also condemned Shahid Afridi and Umar Gul for supporting such remarks.

On Tuesday, after the clip went viral, Shahid Afridi appeared on a news channel to clarify his stance. He mentioned that he hadn’t fully understood what Razzaq had said and laughed because everyone else was laughing. Afridi stated that he would reach out to Razzaq to apologize for the inappropriate comment.

“We were sitting on the stage during a program. Razzaq said something, but I didn’t understand what he said. I started laughing as everyone was laughing. I knew he had a mic in his hand and he will say something. He has a habit,” Afridi explained on SAMAA news.

“When I came home, someone shared the clip with me, and then I realized what he had actually said. So when I listened to it carefully that Razzaq said this [about Aishwarya Rai], I felt bad about it. I will just text him to apologize for what he said. It was a wrong joke; jokes shouldn’t be of this type.”

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