Pakistani sports presenter Zainab Abbas on Thursday broke her silence on the controversy surrounding her departure from India where she was covering the ICC World Cup 2023.
Zainab left from Hyderabad to Dubai earlier this week after facing backlash over her controversial remarks against India and the Hindu religion.
ICC's reasoning behind Zainab's departure
It was being reported that she was deported from India over her 2014 tweets which resurfaced after a complaint was filed against her by lawyer Vineet Jindal. But the International Cricket Council later clarified that Zainab left due to "personal reasons".
The 35-year-old has now herself taken to social media to reveal why she left the country mid-way through her professional assignment.
Zainab's official statement:
"I have always felt extremely fortunate and grateful for the opportunities to travel and present the sport I love - this one would have been extra special.
"My daily interactions with everyone during my stay were kind, cheerful, and with a sense of familiarity - just as I had expected.
"I was neither asked to leave nor was I deported. However, I felt intimidated and scared by the reaction that was unfolding online," Zainab tweeted.
She went on to apologise for her anti-Hindu comments and remarks against India which she had made way back in 2014 on X (formerly Twitter).
"And even though there was no immediate threat to my safety, my family, and friends from both sides of the border were concerned. I needed some space and time to reflect on what had transpired.
"I understand and deeply regret the hurt caused by the posts that were circulated. I wish to make it clear that they do not represent my values or who I am as a person today. There is no excuse or space for such language, and I sincerely apologise to anyone who was offended.
"Also, I am truly grateful to those who were concerned and reached out during this challenging time," Zainab concluded.