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Rizwan Faces Complaint from Indian Lawyer Over his Prayer and Gaza Stance

Pakistan's wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan has been targeted by an Indian lawyer who has lodged a complaint with the International Cricket Council (ICC) against him for offering prayer on the cricket field and expressing his support for the people of Gaza. The lawyer, Vineet Jindal, who is an advocate of the Supreme Court of India, has alleged that Rizwan's actions were against the spirit of sports and displayed his religious and political ideology.

Jindal has sent a complaint to ICC Chairman Greg Barclay, in which he has stated: "This is a complaint about Pakistan Cricket Player, Mohammad Rizwan, who was seen offering namaz on the cricket field during his team's opening match of the ongoing ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2023 on Friday (October 6) against the Netherlands in Hyderabad."

He has further claimed that Rizwan's prayer on the field was a deliberate attempt to show his religion in front of many Indians, which was contrary to the spirit of sports. He has also questioned the ideology that Rizwan follows while playing the match. He has said: "The act of displaying his religion by Mohammed Rizwan purposefully depicts his intent to message that he is a Muslim, defeating the spirit of sports. Rizwan was seen offering prayers amid the field while his teammates were waiting for the drinks during the break."

Jindal has also referred to Rizwan's statement in his press conference after scoring a century against Sri Lanka on October 10, in which he dedicated his victory to the "brothers and sisters in Gaza" who are suffering from the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. He has argued that this statement also attested to Rizwan's religious and political ideology. He has said: "The act of representation of his religion by Mohammed Rizwan in the field and further followed by his statement in his press conference regarding the dedication of his victory to the people of Gaza further attests to his religious and political ideology."

Jindal has urged the ICC to take strict action against Rizwan for his prayer and Gaza message, which he believes have violated the spirit of sports. He has also mentioned that this was not the first time that Rizwan had offered prayer on the ground. He has cited an earlier instance in 2021, when Rizwan had prayed on the field after Pakistan defeated India by 10 wickets in the ICC T20 World Cup 'Super 12' game. He has quoted former Pakistan pace bowler Waqar Younis, who had praised Rizwan for praying in front of the Hindus. He has also noted that Pakistani social media users have lauded Rizwan for offering an on-field prayer during the match.

Rizwan, who is one of Pakistan's most consistent performers with the bat, has not responded to Jindal's complaint so far. He is currently preparing for Pakistan's next match against Australia on October 20 in Bangalore. Pakistan have won two matches and lost one so far in the World Cup and are in fourth position with four points.

Rizwan's prayer and Gaza message have also received support from many quarters, especially from his fans and fellow Muslims. They have appreciated him for showing his faith and compassion on the field. They have also condemned Jindal's complaint as baseless and biased. They have argued that Rizwan has not done anything wrong or illegal by praying or supporting Gaza. They have said that he has only exercised his right to freedom of religion and expression, which are guaranteed by international laws and conventions.

They have also pointed out that there are many examples of other cricketers who have displayed their religious or political views on the field without facing any complaints or actions. They have cited examples such as England's Moeen Ali wearing wristbands with slogans 'Save Gaza' and 'Free Palestine' during a Test match against India in 2014, South Africa's Hashim Amla refusing to wear a logo of a beer company on his shirt due to his Islamic beliefs, India's Virat Kohli making a gesture of respect to former president APJ Abdul Kalam after scoring a century against Sri Lanka in 2015, and New Zealand's Kane Williamson wearing a hijab as a mark of solidarity with the victims of Christchurch mosque shootings in 2019.

They have also questioned Jindal's motive and credibility as a lawyer, as he has previously filed a complaint against Pakistani presenter Zainab Abbas over her "anti-Hindu" statements during the World Cup. They have accused him of being a publicity seeker and a troublemaker, who is trying to create unnecessary controversies and tensions between the two countries. They have urged the ICC to ignore his complaint and focus on the cricket instead. They have also expressed their hope that Rizwan will continue to perform well and lead Pakistan to glory in the World Cup.

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