Pakistan captain Babar Azam has reportedly avoided question about Gaza regarding the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. During a press conference on Friday ahead of the India-Pakistan 2023 World Cup clash, Babar responded that they should stick to cricket when asked by the reporter on the topic.
Babar's fellow teammate and keeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan created some stir after dedicating his match-winning hundred against Sri Lanka in Hyderabad to the people of Gaza, which has been the central point of the conflict. Rizwan took to X (formerly known as Twitter) and wrote the below:
"This was for our brothers and sisters in Gaza. Happy to contribute in the win. Credits to the whole team and especially Abdullah Shafique and Hassan Ali for making it easier. Extremely grateful to the people of Hyderabad for the amazing hospitality and support throughout."
It provoked mixed reactions from the netizens, with some people accusing him of bringing political matters into the middle.
"You talk only on cricket" - Babar Azam hits back at reporter
When asked about the ongoing conflict in Israel, Babar reminded the reporter that they were taking matters on a different tangent and defended Rizwan, saying, as quoted by Zee News:
"You talk only on cricket. Right now you are talking about a different matter. Let us tell you that selected countries of the world are supporting the terrorist organization Hamas. Actually, they are in support of the people of Gaza, one of them is Pakistan. After the victory against Sri Lanka in the ODI World Cup, Mohammad Rizwan dedicated his century on social media to the Palestinian people settled in Gaza."
Speaking of the marquee clash in Ahmedabad on Saturday, Pakistan will look to snare their first 50-over World Cup win against India in 7 attempts.