Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh was in no mood to tolerate a racist comment from former Pakistan cricketer Kamran Akmal on current Team India star Arshdeep Singh. As India took on Pakistan in a tense T20 World Cup 2024 clash in New York, Akmal made a racist ‘Sikh’ joke at Arshdeep, the video of which went viral on social media. As the video caught Harbhajan’s attention, the spinner took to social media, blasting the former Pakistan wicket-keeper batter while teaching him a history lesson too. Akmal later issued an apology.

In a video reposted by Harbhajan, Akmal was part of a panel on ARY News. During the show, he made a controversial remark about Arshdeep’s religion and stated, “Kuch bhi ho sakta hai… 12 baj gaye hai (Anything can happen. It is already 12).”

His remarks didn’t sit well with Harbhajan and he lambasted Kamran for his remarks over Arshdeep and wrote on X, “Lakh di laanat tere Kamraan Akhmal.. You should know the history of Sikhs before you open your filthy mouth. We Sikhs saved your mothers and sisters when they were abducted by invaders, the time invariably was 12 o’clock . Shame on you…Have some Gratitude.”

Akmal issued an apology to Harbhajan and the Sikh community, saying he deeply regrets the comment made. “I deeply regret my recent comments and sincerely apologize to @harbhajan_singh and the Sikh community. My words were inappropriate and disrespectful. I have the utmost respect for Sikhs all over the world and never intended to hurt anyone. I am truly sorry.”

Coming to the match, Pakistan won the toss and put India to bat. However, the Indian batters did not get things going for them on this tough surface as star openers Virat Kohli (4) and Rohit Sharma (13) failed to score big. Rishabh Pant (42 in 31 balls, with six fours) seemed to be playing on a different pitch.

He had useful partnerships with Axar Patel (20 in 18 balls, with two fours and a six) and Suryakumar Yadav (seven in eight balls, with a four). However, the lower middle order crumbled under the pressure of scoring runs on such a tough pitch and India could make just 119 in 19 overs.

Haris Rauf (3/21) and Naseem Shah (3/21) were the top bowlers for Pakistan. Mohammed Amir got two scalps while Shaheen Shah Afridi got one.

In the run-chase, Pakistan took a more measured approach and Mohammed Rizwan (31 in 44 balls, with a four and six) held one end steady. However, Bumrah (3/14) and Hardik Pandya (2/24) got crucial wickets of skipper Babar Azam (13), Fakhar Zaman (13), Shadab Khan (4), Iftikhar Ahmed (5) as well, which kept the pressure intact on Pakistan. With 18 runs needed in the final over, Naseem Shah (10*) tried to win it for Pakistan, however, Arshdeep Singh (1/31) made sure Pakistan fell short by six runs.

Bumrah secured the ‘Player of the Match’ for his match-winning spell.

With ANI Inputs

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