Thursday, November 30, 2023

Covering ICC World Cup, Pakistan presenter Zainab Abbas leaves India amid backlash over alleged anti-India posts

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Pakistani presenter Zainab Abbas, part of the ICC digital team covering the ODI World Cup, on Monday left India after facing backlash on social media over her alleged anti-India posts in the past but the sport’s governing body insisted that she left the country due to personal reasons.

Zainab left India from Hyderabad where she was deputed to cover Pakistan’s three World Cup games in the city.

The 35-year-old was present at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad for Pakistan’s World Cup opener against the Netherlands on October 6.

Posts from her unverified X account, formerly Twitter, had gone viral after she announced that she would be covering the ICC mega event in India.

As speculation on social media intensified over her departure from India in the middle of the tournament, the International Cricket Council clarified that Zainab was not deported from the host country.

“Zainab has not been deported, she has left for personal reasons,” an ICC spokesperson told PTI.

The presenter, who arrived in Hyderabad last week, was supposed to travel to cities where Pakistan are scheduled to play, including Bengaluru, Chennai and Ahmedabad.

Former Pakistan players Rameez Raja and Waqar Younis are in India as part of the commentary panel for the ODI showpiece, which began on October 5 and will end on November 19.

The Pakistan cricket team got a rousing reception at the Hyderabad airport on September 27, marking its arrival to the country after seven years.

The cricketers, including skipper Babar Azam, have acknowledged the overwhelming support they have been getting in India since their arrival.

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