Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik caused a Twitter uproar after he mentioned Indian pacer Mohammed Shami's religion during a promotional event for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. ICC ran the #AskShoaib on Twitter, inviting questions from fans for Malik. When asked who he felt was the best bowler in the Indian team, Malik said, "The best bowler in the Indian team is Mohammad Shami," said Malik, "Not because he is Muslim. I have seen his bowling and played against him also. For me I find him tough."
Malik's answer didn't go down too well with fans, who felt the 35-year-old should have refrained from referring to Shami's religion while answering the question.
Malik is playing in his sixth Champions Trophy this year, the most by any Pakistani cricketer.
India begin their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan at Edgbaston on June 4.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said that his team will try to maintain its superior record against India in the ICC Champions Trophy. Unlike ICC World Cup and T20, Pakistan have a positive record against India in the competition - winning two and losing one of their previous meetings.
"We have a better record against India in the Champions Trophy, not in other competitions. We are looking to maintain that against them and it's very exciting," he said at his pre-tournament press conference.
The tournament begins on June 1.