Zaheer Khan celebrated his 41st birthday on Monday with wishes pouring in on Twitter from his former teammates and current India cricketers. Among the well-wishers was Hardik Pandya, who in his birthday post tweeted a video of him hitting a six off the bowling Zaheer Khan. The India all-rounder, who recently underwent a lower back surgery, captioned the video: "Happy birthday Zak ... Hope you smash it out of the park like I did here." Soon the comments section was flooded by angry fans who slammed Hardik Pandya for being "disrespectful" and showing no "class".
Here is Pandya's birthday wish for Zaheer Khan that left fans fuming:
While many fans spoke of Zaheer Khan's achievements and his contribution to Indian cricket, others directly attacked Pandya.
That's very disrespectful...— Dilshaad (@ImDilshaad) October 7, 2019
@aayaam_pandey Pandya is the classic example of how fame+money does not guarantee you class! Gawaar aadmi hai ye— Shabdika Pandey (@shabdtweets) October 8, 2019
oye Sir Jadeja ke Pirated version jab Zak bhai ka time tha na to tere jaison ko ek bowl pe do baar bold karte the.. thoda tameez seekh.— Magneto (@RahulGa35742224) October 7, 2019
Over confidence! Lagta hai coffee ka nasha abhi tak utra nahi.. Respect the legend— Sameeksha(@Maahii_way) October 7, 2019
Leading wicket taker for India:— div-yesh (@div_yesh07) October 7, 2019
2003 World Cup: Zaheer Khan
2007 World Cup: Zaheer Khan
2011 World Cup: Zaheer Khan
Pandu bhai firr coffee piine chala gya Karan k pass— ANUJ KAJAL (@Anujkajal7) October 7, 2019
Bhagwaan ne sab kuch de diya ... But class— Jaag te raho...Bakion ko sone mat do (@JaagteRahoBhai) October 7, 2019
Happy birthday @ImZaheer ... The hanging in the air action followed the Lethal swing pure class ... Lend him some if possible
Please show respect to Zak Xpress... You were fortunate he wasn't in his prime when he bowled to you.— Harry (@cricfreac) October 8, 2019
With this kind of maturity,i wonder how you got placed in indian team.With this attitude nd character Even when you perform well it's hard to be people favourites.Respect Legends— BiGil Mani (@mani03396) October 7, 2019
KL Rahul sahi bola tha.. Brain Surgery bhi kara lo.—(@nawab_lucknow) October 7, 2019
Paisa, Sohrat aa gaya lekin tameez nahi aayi pic.twitter.com/BkDmzRW59C
Says a mediocre 'all rounder' more (in)famous for his antics off the field than on it to a champion bowler who's taken 600 combined ODI/Test wickets!— Kaustubh Pethe (@kauspet) October 7, 2019
Uneducated fellow.. please learn some manners and basic etiquettes FYI he is not ur friend or junior. he is the chief architect behind our many missions just like 2011wc and role model for millions. . When r u gonna learn ?? It seems like the coffee hangover is yet to be over— srd (@srviki87) October 7, 2019
Thanks Mr. Nobody. Here's your 20 sec of Fame.— Hitman (@HitmanRS45) October 7, 2019
This is what happens when someone get fame and money so easily. Akad aur ghamand dekho jara. You have everything except manners and ethics. Kisi ne sach kaha h, paisa tameez nahi sikha sakta, wo in born quality hoti h aur no doubt you lack it.— Aparna (@AppeFizzz) October 7, 2019
Many fans used Graeme Smith's wish for Zaheer to further slam the current India all-rounder.
What a jerk or he just doesn't understand class. His sense of humour is more like a sense of tumour. Learn from Graeme Smith— Asim Ansari (@afa_ansari) October 7, 2019
Seekho Kuchh Insehttps://t.co/xXw4UqwgT3— Rohit (@RoHitman45_) October 7, 2019
Former teammates like VVS Laxman and Shikhar Dhawan tweeted their birthday greetings for the left-arm pacer. "Happy Birthday @ImZaheer. Wishing you a wonderful day and the most amazing year Zak," Laxman tweeted, referring to Zaheer Khan by his popular nickname.
"Happy birthday Zak Bhai! Have a fabulous year ahead with loads of happiness and good luck," Dhawan wrote on the micro-blogging site.
Zaheer Khan played in 92 Tests and 200 ODIs for India and picked up 311 and 282 wickets respectively in the two formats.
He made his debut for India in an ODI against Kenya in Nairobi in October, 2000. He made his Test debut a month later. Since then, he went on to establish himself as one of India's best ever left-arm pacers. Zaheer Khan was notorious for his ability to swing the ball.
He was part of the Indian team that won the World Cup in 2011. In the final against Sri Lanka, Zaheer Khan managed to pick up two wickets and bowl three maiden overs.
His last appearance for India was the Test match against New Zealand in Wellington in 2014.
Hardik Pandya, meanwhile, last featured in the three-match T20I series against South Africa where he aggravated his back injury.
He was not picked in the India squad for the ongoing three-Test series against the visiting South Africans.
Hardik Pandya is also set to miss the Twenty20 International (T20I) series against Bangladesh which will be played in India, starting November 3.