In the midst of all the celebration post-India’s victory at the Twenty20 World Championship, one soundbyte stood out like a sore thumb. It came from Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik. <b1>
“First of all, I want to say something over here. I want to thank you back home Pakistan and where the Muslim lives all over the world,” Malik said at the awards ceremony on Monday night.
The comment has not gone down well with cricket fans. Ali, a Pakistani, said on Orkut: “Whether you are Christian, Sikh, or Hindu, Pakistan is for everyone. Shoaib has made a wrong choice of words. I am a Muslim and I don’t agree with his statement.”
In his blog, cricket historian Mukul Kesavan writes: “It is one thing to be publicly religious…, quite another to declare that your cricket XI bats for international Islam.”
There is also a view that Malik phrased the comment badly because of his discomfort with English. He is generally seen as a sensible cricketer.