In a startling turn of events, legendary Pakistani cricketer Wasim Akram made headlines, not for his expert analysis, but for a casteist slur on live television during a post-match show of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. This happened following Pakistan’s unexpected defeat to Afghanistan at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
After the game, a video began to circulate rapidly on various social media platforms showcasing Akram using the derogatory term ‘CH*M&R’. The former Pakistani speedster, who has played in 104 Test matches and 460 ODIs, accumulating remarkable wickets of 414 and 502 respectively, and scoring over 6,000 Test and 3,700 ODI runs, is no stranger to the pressures of international cricket. However, his comment drew severe backlash from netizens.
Currently associated with a show named ‘The Pavillion’ on A Sports alongside prominent names like Misbah-Ul-Haq, Moin Khan, and Shoaib Malik, Akram discussed his previous TV experience where he was stationed at the stadium for pre-match insights.
His unfiltered critique didn’t end there. Akram expressed profound disappointment with the Pakistan team, berating their fitness levels. He exclaimed, “It was embarrassing today. We are screaming that there has been no fitness test in the past two years. It looks like they are consuming 8kg of kadhai and nihari daily. Players are representing their nation and being paid professionally; there has to be some criteria.”
During the match, Pakistan, after winning the toss, decided to bat, setting a target of 282 runs. Babar Azam’s commendable 74 and Abdullah Shafique’s half-century stood out, while Shadab Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed provided a robust finishing touch.
Afghanistan’s response was confident, with openers Ibrahim Zadran and Ramanullah Gurbaz establishing a 130-run partnership. Rahmat Shah and Captain Hashmatullah Shahidi’s steady performance ensured Afghanistan’s smooth sail to the finish line.
It is noteworthy to mention that this triumph marked Afghanistan’s maiden ODI victory against Pakistan after seven consecutive defeats.
As the controversy brews, fans and analysts alike await an official response from Akram and relevant broadcasting channels.
Credit to India Inclusion Summit for the featured image of this article, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons