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Waqar Younis apologises for namaz comments

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Former Pakistan cricketer Waqar Younis tendered an apology for saying that watching Pakistani opener Mohammad Rizwan offering namaz “in front of Hindus was very special to him.”

The legendary pacer made the comments in a current affairs program aired by ARY News, a day after Pakistan defeated India in their opening match of the World Cup. This was Pakistan’s first ever victory against the arch-rivals in any world cup.

He was immediately called out by cricket commentators and politicians from across the border in India.

Waqar Younis took to Twitter and said: “In the heat of the moment, I said something which I did not mean which has hurt the sentiments of many. I apologise for this, this was not intended at all, genuine mistake. Sports unites people regardless of race, colour or religion.”

Harsha Bhogle had called the statement “dangerous” and said that the cricket world needed to be united and not divided by religion.

Bhogle said: “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.”

“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 added.

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