Former Pakistan cricketer Abdul Razzaq has apologised to Indian actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan after his comments triggered a massive controversy. Razzaq made some shocking comments earlier this week, during an event where he was joined by former Pakistan cricketers like Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi. “If your thinking is that you marry Aishwarya Rai and expect a pious and virtuous child to be born, then that can never happen,” Razzaq reportedly said in Urdu.
The ex-all-rounder’s remarks landed him in deep trouble, with both the public and Razzaq’s former colleagues criticising his remarks.
In a video message he has apologised to the Bollywood actress. He said, “We were talking about cricket coaching and intentions. [I had a slip of the tongue] and mistakenly took Aishwarya Rai’s name. I should have given some other example but said that by mistake. I apologise to her personally. I did not intend to hurt anyone’s sentiment.”
Former Pakistan players like Gul and Afridi also faced criticism for applauding and chuckling at Razzaq’s controversial statements. Later, Afridi condemned Razzaq’s comments. Afridi also said that he would tell Razzaq to apologise for his remarks.
“I laughed on stage but didn’t get what he actually said. Other people were laughing as well. When I returned home, I saw a video sent by someone and then I realised that Razzaq shouldn’t have said that. I felt weird and I’ll text him right away to apologise. Such jokes shouldn’t be made,” Afridi had said during a show on Samaa TV, a Pakistani news channel.
Legendary Pakistan fast bowlers Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar had also slammed Razzaq for making such offensive remarks. “Just saw this statement by Razzaq and I’m very disappointed and gutted. I condemn this terrible behaviour,” was Waqar’s reaction.
Ex-Pakistan speedster Akhtar wrote on X, “I highly condemn the inappropriate joke/comparison made by Razzaq. No woman should be disrespected like this. People seated beside him should have raised their voice right away rather than laughing & clapping.”
Razzaq represented Pakistan in more than 300 international matches, across all three formats of the game. In international cricket, he was last seen in action in November 2013 during a T20I match against South Africa.