Former Pakistan cricketer Waqar Younis apologised for a controversial remark on Pakistan batsman Mohammad Rizwan offering Namaz during the team’s win over Pakistan at the T20 World Cup.

Younis, while speaking to Pakistani news channel ARY News said that the best thing about Rizwan’s knock against Pakistan was that he offered Namaz in the middle of all Hindus.

The controversial remark received flak forcing Younis to issue an apology.

“In the heat of the moment, I said something which I did not mean which has hurt the sentiments of many. I apologise for this, this was not intended at all, genuine mistake. Sports unites people regardless of race, colour or religion,” Younis wrote in a post on Twitter and also clarified on a news channel later on.

Rizwan starred with the bat against India scoring 79 off 55 deliveries to guide the team to a 10-wicket win, the team’s first over India at any World Cup event.

Pakistan are in a strong position in Group 2 to qualify for the semi-finals having beaten India and New Zealand in their first two matches.

Indian broadcaster Harsha Bhogle was one of those who had criticised Younis’ comments. He wrote on his Twitter handle on Tuesday, “For a person of Waqar Younis’ stature to say that watching Rizwan offering namaz in front of Hindus was very special to him, is one of the most disappointing things I have heard. A lot of us try hard to play such things down and talk up sport and to hear this is terrible.”