Miandad, a former captain of the Pakistan team represented the country in over 350 international matches from 1975 to 1996. In a video clip that has gone viral, Miandad expressed his solidarity with the people of the Indian-governed Kashmir region.
Former Pakistan cricketer Javed Miandad threatening India while holding a sword: Pehle main balle se chakka marta tha, ab talwar se insaan maaronga (If I can hit six with a bat, why can't I swing sword.. I used to hit sixes with bat, now I'll kill humans with sword)... pic.twitter.com/blmK1XnbKS— Navneet Mundhra (@navneet_mundhra) 1 September 2019
“Kashmiri brothers don't worry. We are with you. Earlier I used a bat to hit a six, now I can use this sword”, Miandad could be heard saying in an apparent threat to India. “If I can hit a sixer with a bat, can't I kill a man with a sword?”
Kashmir was put under lockdown following a decision by New Delhi to strip the state of its special status and divide it into two federally administered territories early August.
Pakistan, which claims to be stakeholder on Kashmir came out strongly against the Indian decision and in protest, expelled India’s envoy to Islamabad, downsized its diplomatic mission in New Delhi, suspended trade and snapped communication links. Islamabad has also threatened to close its airspace to India.
The former cricket legend has over the years commanded respect and admiration in India for his cricketing exploits, hence the livid reaction of Twitterati over his recent statements. A section of netizens came down heavily on Miandad stating that such statements were not expected from him.
No one takes him seriously even here for his political statements— Basit (@BasitSubhani) 1 September 2019
What a sad fall for such a great cricketer. Can’t even laugh at this; can only pity him.— Abhijit Majumder (@abhijitmajumder) 1 September 2019
Javed Miandad is a name synonymous with the last ball 6 and a well respected and much feared opponent by Indians. But that was cricket. To see and hear him speak such language is sad. Even Zaheer Abbas or Gavaskar or other legends will never stoop so low 🏏— Milesh Daru (@mpd12) 1 September 2019
I greatly admired him as a world class batsman. But now he looks like an extra from ‘Ram Leela’ which is popular in rural India during the festive season.— Akshaya Bhatt (@akshaya_bhatt) 1 September 2019
“If I can hit sixes with my bat, why can’t I kill people with this sword?”— Madhav Sharma (@HashTagCricket) 31 August 2019
Shame on you, Javed Miandad. You are a disgrace. pic.twitter.com/IJWIogBuZE
However, some Pakistani users backed Miandad for his comments and lent their support for the former batsman.
legend miandad ..patriotic of Pakistan— sal dad (@Saldondo) 1 September 2019
Pakistan army zindabad Pakistan zindabad... strong message to India from Great Pakistani Cricketer Javed Miandad— Ahmad Zaman Mughal (@zamanboi) 1 September 2019
Miandad has been a vocal critic of the Indian government ever since its Kashmir decision. Last month, he expressed his desire to visit the Line of Control (LoC) to hoist a peace flag as a gesture of solidarity with “Kashmiri brothers”. In another statement, the cricketer had labelled the Indian government a "coward" and warned of nuclear aggression in case India and Pakistan go to a war.