Former Australia opening batter Matthew Hayden’s remarks on the impact of Islam on Pakistan’s cricketing culture sparked controversy on social media. Hayden made the comments while calling the World Cup 2023 warm-up fixture between Australia and Pakistan in Guwahati on Tuesday, alongside former PCB chief Ramiz Raja.
“Well, it is very focused around Islam, which is a central and core thing to this playing unit. The way of life in the Pakistan team leads to greater discipline, which I greatly admire after all cricket is a discipline as well,” Matthew Hayden was heard saying on air.
The video clip, featuring Hayden and Raja, has now gone viral on social media. While the Pakistan media and citizens are celebrating the former Aussie cricketer’s comment, it didn’t go down well among the Indian fans who are now slamming Matthew Hayden on social media.
This is how they grow by brain wash people across globe.
Matthew Hayden in process to become Mohammed 🤲 pic.twitter.com/8RSLjZaWT1
— Sunny 😎 (@being_sunny1) October 4, 2023
Matthew Hayden expressed his belief that Islam has played a significant role in instilling discipline within the current Pakistan cricket team, both on and off the field
— Cricket Pakistan (@cricketpakcompk) October 4, 2023
— JIX5A (@JIX5A) October 4, 2023
Whether it’s on the cricket field or in the commentary box, Pakistanis tend to bring their religion into it somehow.. This video is from today’s match.. where Pakistan’s Ramiz Raja is discussing Islam with Australian Matthew Hayden during live commentary #AUSvsPAK #PAKvAUS… pic.twitter.com/eTrVKQPe2P
— R S 🇮🇳🇮🇳 (@rs_rajender) October 3, 2023
Why is this Commentary between Ramiz Raja and Mathew Hayden openly promoting & glorifying IsIam being allowed??? This is a Cricket World Cup Match not some Religious gathering that such sermons be given pic.twitter.com/U7C3urJQZ6
— Rosy (@rose_k01) October 4, 2023
This is not the first time a commentator has landed in hot waters for speaking something that’s unnecessary or irrelevant from a cricketing perspective. Back in 2006, former Australia batter, Late Dean Jones, was sacked by broadcasters Ten Sports for calling Hashim Amla a ‘terrorist’ on live television during a Test match between South Africa and Sri Lanka in Colombo.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) never allows any commercial or religious promotions by the people involved in the conduct of multi-nation events. Back in 2019, MS Dhoni wearing the dagger insignia on his wicket-keeping gloves led to a controversy as ICC expressed an objection.
Hayden’s comments have been praised by some for highlighting the importance of discipline in cricket, while others have criticized them for being insensitive and unnecessary. It is important to remember that religion is a personal matter and should not be used to divide people, especially in the context of sport.