In a playful attempt to add some entertainment to the ongoing T20I series between New Zealand and Pakistan, the Dunedin DJ made a music choice that backfired spectacularly. As Pakistani batsman Azam Khan walked out to bat, the stadium speakers blared the entrance theme of WWE legend “The Big Show,” a decision that left Pakistani fans fuming and accusing the hosts of disrespect.
This “WWE entrance” tradition started during Pakistan’s last tour of New Zealand, when Glenn Phillips emerged to the iconic music of John Cena. This time, the DJ targeted Khan, son of legendary Pakistani cricketer Moin Khan. However, the lighthearted attempt at humor fell flat, sparking outrage on social media.
Hahahaha previously crowd used to wear ghost attire to tease Haris sohail. Now they are putting up Big Show music on Azam Khan’s entrance.
Kiwis are not that nicee 🤣🤣🤣#PAKvsNZ #AzamKhan pic.twitter.com/ANOAStGpGW
— Zeeshan Khalid (@izeekayy) January 17, 2024
Pakistani fans were quick to condemn the choice, calling it “pathetic” and urging their cricket board to take action. They felt the music mocked Khan’s stature and disrespected his family legacy. The incident ignited a debate online, with supporters and critics voicing their opinions. While some found the music selection harmless and simply meant to entertain the crowd, others argued that it crossed the line of cultural sensitivity and sportsmanship.
The fact that Khan is a young player making his mark on the international stage added fuel to the fire, making fans even more protective of his image. Beyond the social media storm, the incident also highlighted the complex dynamics of cultural exchange and humor in sports.
What might be considered lighthearted fun in one culture can be perceived as offensive in another. This raises important questions about the responsibility of organizers and broadcasters to be mindful of cultural sensitivities, especially in a globalized sporting landscape. The episode also underscored the passionate nature of Pakistani cricket fans, who are fiercely protective of their players and their cricketing heritage.
Any perceived slight against their team or its members is likely to evoke strong reactions. As the series progresses, it remains to be seen if the organizers will address the controversy or if it will simply fade away. However, the incident serves as a reminder of the importance of cultural awareness and sensitivity in creating a fun and inclusive sporting environment for all.