Babar Azam, Shadab, others limit public interactions in US after Haris Rauf’s brawl

This combination of images shows Pakistan’s Babar Azam (right), Haris Rauf (centre) and Shadab Khan. — AFP/Files

PORT LAUDERHILL: After Pakistan fast bowler Haris Rauf engaged in an ugly altercation with a fan, members of the national men’s cricket team are keeping their distance from fans in the United States following the team’s early exit from the T20 World Cup 2024.

According to The News, the team’s T20 captain Babar Azam, Shadab Khan, and a few others — all of whom prolonged their stay in the US, despite the team’s elimination from the tournament’s league stage — have limited their public interactions and are only meeting with people they are familiar with.

This change in the team members’ attitude towards fans follows a widely circulated video on social media, which showed Rauf, 30, engaging in a confrontation with a fan who made negative remarks targeting him.

In the video, the pacer was seen strolling around with his wife, Muzna, when he suddenly became aggressive towards a fan, accompanied by a group of youngsters.

The video showed Rauf running towards the fan despite his wife and others, present on the spot, trying to hold him back.

Later, on his X account, Rauf addressed the incident, clarifying his side of the story.

He wrote: “I decided not to bring this up on social media, But now that the video is out, I feel it is necessary to address the situation. As public figures, we are open to receiving all kinds of feedback from the public. They are entitled to support or criticize us.

“Nevertheless, when it comes to my parents and my family, I will not hesitate to respond accordingly. It is important to show respect towards people and their families, irrespective of their professions.”

Following the incident, the Pakistani pacer received the support of his teammates who stated that criticism was the right of every fan, however they should do it with respect.

He has been criticised for conceding 15 runs in the final over that brought the US back in the match at Dallas, leading to a Super Over which ultimately went in favour of the host side.

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