Ex-Pakistan cricketer blasts Mohammad Rizwan for using religion to deflect T20 World Cup criticism

Jul 5, 2024

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Following Pakistan‘s disappointing exit from the T20 World Cup 2024, former batter Ahmad Shahzad launched a scathing attack on wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, accusing him of using religion to deflect criticism. Rizwan’s controversial remarks came during a press conference where he emphasized his role as an ambassador of Islam before representing Pakistan.

Mohammad Rizwan’s controversial remarks and Pakistan’s T20 World Cup failure

Rizwan was part of the Babar Azam-led squad that suffered a disappointing early exit from the T20 World Cup after consecutive defeats against the United States of America (USA) and India. Upon returning from the US, Rizwan held a press conference admitting that fan criticism was justified.

“I believe that a human being is a brand ambassador of two things. If a person is a Muslim, he is an ambassador of Islam. Pakistan doesn’t matter as he represents Islam wherever he goes. The second thing, he is a brand ambassador of Pakistan. It doesn’t matter what anyone says,” Rizwan said in a viral video on social media.

“We’re brand ambassadors of Islam”: Rizwan pic.twitter.com/FKRUSeSanO

— Arfa Feroz Zake (@ArfaSays_) July 2, 2024

Accusations of hypocrisy and deflection

Shahzad, on X, accused Rizwan of hiding behind religion to divert attention from the team’s poor performance. Shehzad questioned the sincerity of Rizwan’s religious stance, highlighting inconsistencies in his behavior.

“It is really disappointing that some players are hiding their poor performance in the World Cup by holding unnecessary press conferences and playing the religion card. Where does religion go when they lie about their fitness and when they admit they were acting on the field? Does religion teach you to deceive others and lie in the field? You are paid to perform on the field, and you join the grouping in the team instead. Religion teaches us to fulfill our responsibility with full determination and not to lie about our suffering. Some spokespeople for these players want them to be given another chance, but why? This is the Pakistan team, and it is not their home team where they can play. If they want another chance, they can make their own team and play with their friends, but not for the Pakistan cricket team anymore,” the post reads.

Also READ: Ahmed Shehzad reveals his all time Pakistan XI; no place for Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi

Calls for accountability and historical criticisms of Rizwan

Shahzad further emphasized the need for accountability and action against the players, insisting that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Mohsin Naqvi must follow through on his promise of a major overhaul.

“We will not let PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi forget the big surgery he promised. Some players of the Pakistani team are now even mocking the chairman’s statement because they don’t care. But we will make sure that fans get their answers and action is taken against these players. We have taken a stand, and we will not back down until this Pakistan team is back on the right track,” the post concluded.

یہ واقعی مایوس کن ہے کہ کچھ کھلاڑی غیر ضروری پریس کانفرنس کرکے اور مذہب کا کارڈ کھیل کر ورلڈ کپ میں اپنی خراب کارکردگی کو چھپا رہے ہیں۔ جب وہ اپنی فٹنس کے بارے میں جھوٹ بولتے ہیں اور جب وہ تسلیم کرتے ہیں کہ وہ میدان میں اداکاری کر رہے تھے تو مذہب کہاں جاتا ہے؟ کیا مذہب آپ کو…

— Ahmad Shahzad 🇵🇰 (@iamAhmadshahzad) July 3, 2024

This is not the first time Rizwan has faced criticism for bringing religion into the game. He was heavily criticized for offering Namaz on the ground while batting during Pakistan’s clash against India in the T20 World Cup 2021 and repeated this act during Pakistan’s match against the Netherlands in the ODI World Cup 2023 in India.

Also READ: Wasim Akram names his choice for Pakistan’s captaincy after their T20 World Cup 2024 exit

For latest cricket news & updates, visit CricketTimes.com.

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