World Cup: Speculation rife as ICC’s Pakistani presenter Zainab Abbas leaves India
Zainab has not been deported, she has left for personal reasons: ICC
Speculation is rife over the sudden departure of Zainab Abbas, a Pakistani member of the ICC media team, who left India for Dubai on Monday for ‘personal reasons.’ Zainab was in India to cover the ongoing ICC World Cup.
The 35-year-old had allegedly made anti-India posts in the past, which triggered a backlash in the social media. She arrived in India last week and was present in Hyderabad on Friday during Pakistan’s first match against Netherlands and was supposed to be travelling to the venues involving Pakistan matches.
Asked whether Zainab was deported, an ICC spokesperson told a news agency: ‘’Zainab has not been deported, she has left for personal reasons.’’
Incidentally, Vineet Jindal, a Delhi-based lawyer filed a complaint urging top authorities to take action against Abbas and shared it on his X-handle with the following post: “Complaint against @ZAbbasOfficial filed by Advocate & Social Activist @vineetJindal19 with cyber cell Delhi Police. Requesting to lodge FIR under section 153A, 295, 506, 121 IPC and sec67 IT Act for making derogatory remarks for Hindu faith and beliefs and for anti-Bharat statements.’’
‘’Zainab must be removed from list of presenters on immediate basis from ICC World Cup by @ICC & @BCCI. Anti-Bharat people are not welcome in Bharat. @HMOIndia @ianuragthakur @JayShah.’’
Zainab’s verified X-handle @Zabbasofficial describes her as ‘a presenter for ICC World Cup, Sky Sports, Star Sports, Super Sport, Pakistan Super League (PSL), T10, Cricgif, Ten Sports & Sony, occasional writer for Dawn, worked with Duniya News.’
Her last post on X October 2 reads: ‘’There was always intrigue on what lies on the other side, more cultural similarities than differences, rivals on the field but camaraderie off the field, the same language & love for art & a country with a billion people, here to represent, to create content & bring in expertise from the best in the business. Humbled to be presenting in India at the Cricket WC2023 for the @ICC again, a journey away from home of 6 weeks starts now.’’
Zainab’s previous post, involving India during the Asia Cup on September 17, read: ‘’Siraj is underrated as a bowler. Bowls at a good length and gets enough movement, economical & gets wickets. Great start for India. #Indvs SL’’
The Pakistan team, meanwhile, has been accorded a warm welcome on their arrival in India. Members of their media team, however, are waiting to be granted India visas. Two of their former stars: Rameez Raja and Waqar Younis are already in India to be a part of the commentary team.
Published: 10 Oct 2023, 1:22 PM