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Slip of tongue: Abdul Razzaq apologizes to Aishwarya Rai | The Express Tribune

In the world of sports, athletes often find themselves in the limelight not just for their on-field performances but also for their off-field remarks. Recently, former cricketer Abdul Razzaq stirred controversy when he made derogatory remarks about Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai during a panel discussion. Razzaq has now issued a public apology for his comment, acknowledging it as a “slip of the tongue.”

After getting immense backlash, Razzaq shared a video message to express regret for his choice of words on X. He said that it was not his intention to hurt anybody’s sentiments; “I am very ashamed of yesterday and I realise I said very bad words. I apologise to everyone, please forgive me.” In the video Razzaq states, “My name is Abdul Razzaq. In yesterday’s press conference, I was talking about cricket and coaching. While talking, I wanted to quote another example, though by mistake, I used Aishwarya Rai’s name; it shouldn’t have been done. I heartily apologize to her.”

While discussing the performance of the Pakistan cricket team, Razzaq, during the media interaction, had used an analogy that involved Rai. He said, “If one marries Aishwarya with the intention of having pious kids, it is not possible.” The comment raised eyebrows and drew criticism for its inappropriate nature. Razzaq was joined by fellow former cricketers Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi on the panel.

A clip of his remark was widely circulated online, attracting criticism. Following the outcry, Afridi, on a local news channel, condemned Razzaq’s comments. “It was a wrong joke and such jokes should not be made,” asserted Afridi. He also said that he wasn’t aware of what was said, even though the viral videos showed him laughing at Razzaq’s statement.

Former cricketer Mohammad Yousaf also slammed his compatriot’s comments in a tweet, “I hope he will be ashamed of what he said and apologise.” Shoaib Akhtar tweeted that “no woman should be disrespected like this,” while also slamming Gul and Afridi for cheering Razzaq on. Indian MP Priyanka Chaturvedi also took to social media to slam Razzaq’s comments; “Aishwarya continues to stand tall despite and in spite their pathetic remarks,” she wrote.

Razzaq’s apology has garnered mixed reactions from the public. While some appreciate his prompt acknowledgment of the blunder, others remain skeptical about the sincerity of his regret. His pardon, however, demonstrates accountability. It also emphasizes the need for public figures to be mindful of the impact their words can have on others. As discussions surrounding the incident continue, the episode serves as a lesson in responsible communication for athletes and celebrities alike.

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