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Ahmed Shehzad Accuses Rizwan of Using Religion Card to Distract from T20 World Cup Failures

Lahore: Pakistani cricketer Ahmed Shehzad has lashed out at Mohammad Rizwan for playing the ‘religious card’ following Pakistan’s disappointing performance in the T20 World Cup. Shehzad criticized Rizwan for what he termed as deflecting from the team’s poor showing by bringing religion into the discussion, terming it ‘lamentable’.

Mohammad Rizwan, during a press conference addressing acknowledged Pakistan’s criticism following their T20 World Cup disappointment, emphasizing it as a crucial learning experience. He accepted the team’s underperformance and justified the backlash, asserting that criticism is essential for improvement.

During the press conference, Rizwan also spoke about representing Islam and Pakistan wherever he goes.

“I believe every person is a brand ambassador for two things. As a Muslim, one represents Islam globally. Additionally, as a Pakistani, one is an ambassador for Pakistan. External opinions do not concern us,” stated Rizwan.

His remarks, aimed at emphasizing personal and national pride, did not sit well with Shehzad.

In a social media post in Urdu, Shehzad expressed his disappointment, questioning the appropriateness of using religious sentiments to mask poor performances on the field. “It is truly disappointing that some players are hiding their poor performance in the World Cup by holding unnecessary press conferences and playing the religion card,” Shehzad wrote.

“When they lie about their fitness and admit to acting on the field, where does religion fit in? Does religion teach you to deceive others and lie on the field?”, he added.

He further criticized the team’s focus, stating, ” You are paid to perform on the field, but instead, you indulge in groupism within the team.”

He further added, “We will not let Chairman Mohsin Naqvi forget the major overhaul he promised. Some players in the Pakistani team are now mocking the chairman’s statement because they don’t care, but we will ensure that fans get their answers.”

In the press conference, Rizwan also addressed PCB Chief Mohsin Naqvi’s mention of potential “operations” in the team, indicating support for the chairman’s authority in deciding the team’s future. He concluded by reflecting on his own subpar performance in the tournament, citing specific statistics.

Pakistan’s campaign in the T20 World Cup ended prematurely after losses to the USA and India in the group stage. Rizwan, who struggled personally during the tournament, managed to score 110 runs in four innings at an average of 36.66 and a strike rate of 90.90, with one fifty against Canada.

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