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A recent interview of former international cricketer Abdul Razzaq is doing rounds on social media and that too for the wrong reasons. Razzaq sat down with Nida Dar of Pakistan's women's cricket team, in June for a tete-a-tete in a talk show hosted by Nouman Ijaz, excerpts of which conversation have triggered a debate online.

The three, among other members of the show, talked about women in sports when Razzaq casually made sexist remarks over Dar's appearance and future in the sport. When the Raqeeb Se star inquired what Dar would have chosen as a career, had it not been a cricketer, she shared she still would have opted to be a professional athlete.


To this, Honey Albela laughed and joked, "Do you have some kind of allergy with marriage? You don't want to talk about it at all." Wafa Butt, another host of the show then questioned how many sports academies are available for women in the country?

"I know there are few at the college level," Ijaz responded. Dar added, "If some colleges and schools have space, then they do try and incorporate cricket in their extra curriculum activities. Girls from rural areas and villages move to the city to play cricket, in hopes to pursue this as a profession."

Butt intervened and asserted, "And then they leave when they get married."

Dar then commented, "They try to play the sport as much as they can since you never know after the wedding."

"Oh, they don't get married," Razzaq quipped. "Their field is as such. When they become cricketers, they strive to be as equal as their male counterparts, if not better than them. They want to prove that not only men, but they can also do it as well. The feeling [to get married] is is gone [by the time they excel." He further added by saying, "If you shake her [Dar] hand, she is anything but feminine." 

Dar decided to respond to Razzaq and shared, "Our profession is such that we have to gym. We have to bat, bowl, field. Hence, we have to stay fit." Cutting Dar off, Razzaq added, "You can tell by the haircut she has." While others continued to laugh at the so-called jest, Butt questioned, "I had this query for a while. Can you not play cricket with longer hair?"

"You absolutely can play with long hair," Dar answered. "But for someone who has kept her hair long, it would affect her game." Ijaz then remarked, "There are certain requirements when it comes to sports. Why can't one play with a three-piece suit? You have to abide by the need of the sport."

The clip that went viral yesterday irked many with Razzaq being called out for his sexist comments.

"So disgusting all these people literally jumped on her,' a user commented. "Can't even imagine how much sexism our women cricketers go through. Nida Dar is a star!"

"Always knew Abdul Razzaq was sexist. This is despicable,' said another user. "He kept on saying sexist stuff about Nida Dar being "manly" and "inki shaadi nai hoti" and everyone else kept laughing. This is what our women cricketers have to face constantly in this society."

"In my mind, I am having a breakdown on live TV, I am screaming at Abdul Razzaq and all three of them for cornering Nida like that with their sexist and misogynist BS," wrote another.

One user commented, "Abdur Razzaq the player was awesome. Abdul Razzaq post-retirement in front of a microphone isn't. Someone needs to tell him he isn't funny."

"You can see how those remarks are being enjoyed as well,' one tweep penned, adding, "Even the host and the co-hosts think this is fun content. If Razzaq (a male cricketer) can casually say all this on TV imagine what women athletes have to go through on daily basis in this country."

"You became a world-class all-rounder but your mentality stayed there from where you started your career. Pathetic of you to ridicule a Pakistani star on national TV. Sexism and sense of humour at their peak," shared another.

In a country where women playing sports is still considered taboo, sexist comments from renowned sportsmen are really not needed. Kudos to Dar for staying composed and calm during the exchange. Our heroes, on the other hand, need to do better.

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