Abdul Razzaq is a former Pakistani cricketer and coach who gained attention in 2023 for making a controversial statement about Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at an event.
Abdul Razzaq was born on Sunday, 2 December 1979 (age 44 years; as of 2023) in Shahdara Bagh, Lahore. His zodiac sign is Sagittarius.
Height (approx.): 6′ 0″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Wife & Children
Abdul is married to Ayesha. She is also his maternal first cousin. Together, they have a son, Ali Razzaq, who is a cricketer and two daughters, one of whose name is Ammna.
In 2021, in an interview, he revealed that he dated Deedar, who is a drama actor. In the interview, he further added that he planned to marry her but because of her profession, they did not get married. The Express Tribune
He became well-known in the 1999–2000 Carlton and United Series, receiving the title of the man of the series for his exceptional all-around performance. In a match in Hobart against India, Abdul scored fifty runs while batting and also took five wickets.
Abdul also demonstrated his bowling skills in the Coca-Cola Champions Trophy against Sri Lanka in Sharjah in October 1999. Pakistan scored 196 runs, and Abdul, with a score of 7, remained not out. However, he displayed his all-around abilities by achieving his first five-wicket haul. He dismissed Romesh Kaluwitharana, Mahela Jayawardene, Suresh Perera, Chaminda Vaas, and Chamara Silva, ending with match figures of 5/31. This resulted in a tied match as Sri Lanka, despite reaching 157/2 at one point, were also bowled out for 196. Following the tournament, former captain Wasim Akram praised Abdul’s bowling abilities, mentioning that he was emerging as one of the best all-rounders worldwide. Abdul’s exceptional nine-ball performance, where he secured four wickets without conceding any runs, transformed a potential win for Sri Lanka into a draw. Due to his outstanding display, he was awarded the title of the man of the match.
He made his test debut on 5 November 1999 against Australia and his T20 debut on 28 August 2006 against England.
World Cup 1999
Abdul became a regular part of the national team during the 1999 World Cup in England. His impressive performances in both bowling and batting caught the selectors’ attention in the tournament. In a group match against Australia, he showcased his excellent batting skills, achieving his first half-century with a score of 60 runs in a strong partnership with Inzamam-ul-Haq. This significant contribution played a crucial role in Pakistan setting a target of 275 runs. Pakistan won the match by ten runs, securing a place in the Super Six stage. He also delivered an outstanding bowling performance against the West Indies, taking three wickets for 32 runs and bowling three maiden overs at Bristol.
Carlton and United Series 2000
Abdul also demonstrated his skills in the Carlton & United Series in Australia, a tri-nation tournament involving Pakistan, Australia, and India in 2000. He was honoured with the Man of the Series title for his outstanding all-around performances in a pre-final match against India. In that game, he scored 70 runs and took 5 wickets for 48 runs. This accomplishment made him the fifth all-rounder in ODIs to achieve both a half-century and five wickets in a single match. The other four players who had achieved this feat were Vivian Richards, Kris Srikkanth, Mark Waugh, and Lance Klusener. Shahid Afridi later accomplished the feat three times for Pakistan. In the first game of the series against Australia, he took 4 wickets, playing a crucial role for Pakistan and aiding them in successfully defending the target of 184 runs in Brisbane. In the third match of the series, he caught people’s attention by hitting five consecutive boundaries in the fifth over bowled by Australian pacer Glenn McGrath. Although Pakistan lost in the finals against Australia, Abdul was recognized as the Player of the series for his exceptional all-around performance.
2009 World Twenty20 Championship
In 2009, he was selected to represent Pakistan in the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 in England, filling in for the injured fast bowler Yasir Arafat. This marked his return to international cricket and made him the first player from the Indian Cricket League to have his ban lifted by the Pakistan Cricket Board. He played a vital role in Pakistan’s victory in the tournament, taking 5 wickets with an average of 14.80 and an economy rate of 5.92. His performance, where he took 3 wickets for 20 runs, played a key role in Pakistan’s win against Sri Lanka in the final. As a result, he, along with another former Indian Cricket League player Mohammad Yousuf, was awarded ‘A’ category mid-term central contracts by the Pakistan Cricket Board. In the 2009–2010 season, he couldn’t take part in the tours of New Zealand and Australia because of an injury. Later, he was selected for the two-match Twenty20 International series against England in February 2010. His unbeaten innings of 46 runs from 18 deliveries in the second match ensured a win for Pakistan, breaking their streak of eleven international matches without a victory. On 30 December 2010, during a match for the Melbourne Renegades, ex-Australian cricketer Mark Waugh described Abdul Razzaq as a “cardboard cutout” because he seemed disinterested during the game.
One Day International
When he came back to One Day Internationals in 2010, he played a brief innings for Pakistan, making 23 runs off 20 deliveries and adding to a total score of 287. New Zealand needed 288 to win, and Abdul took important wickets by dismissing Scott Styris and Jacob Oram, leading to Pakistan’s decisive 141-run victory over New Zealand. In the second One Day International, he took the wickets of Martin Guptill (62) and Daniel Vettori (30). However, New Zealand finished their innings at 303/8. Pakistan’s batting struggled, reaching a total of 239 all out, with Abdul contributing 35 runs to the score. With the series level at 1-1, Pakistan went into the third One Day International and bowled out New Zealand for 211. Later, Pakistan encountered a problem in the top order, experiencing a collapse at 79/7 as Younis Khan, Salman Butt, Khalid Latif, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal, and Shahid Afridi were all dismissed. He joined the game later but was run out by Vettori without scoring.
2011 World Cup
He was included in the 15-member squad for Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup, which took place in Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka from February to April. He opened both the bowling and batted in the lower order. In his first two matches, he bowled only 10 balls. Against Australia, he scored 20 runs from 24 balls, helping Pakistan win and breaking Australia’s 34-match unbeaten streak in World Cups.
Indian Cricket League
He became a part of the Indian Cricket League and played a crucial role as one of the main players for the Hyderabad Heroes. During the 2007-2008 Indian Cricket League, there were uncertainties about his international career because the Pakistan Cricket Board had banned players involved in the unofficial league. After being part of two seasons, he exited the Indian Cricket League with the expectation that the Pakistan Cricket Board would remove the ban on Indian Cricket League players. He expressed a wish to return to playing for the Pakistan national team.
England County Cricket
He has played for Middlesex, Worcestershire, and Surrey in English county-level cricket. In June 2008, he agreed to a brief contract with Surrey to take part in the Twenty20 Cup. He played a role in Surrey’s win against Sussex, making 39 runs from 19 balls. Even though his time at The Oval was short, Abdul gained popularity among Surrey supporters. In March 2010, he became part of Hampshire County Cricket Club as one of their four overseas players for the English domestic Twenty20 competition. He played a vital role in their victory against Somerset on finals day at Hampshire’s home ground, the Rose Bowl. He became the second overseas player for Leicestershire County Cricket Club in the English domestic Friends Life t20. In the 2011 Friends Life t20, he once more represented Leicestershire against Somerset on finals day. He took part in both of Leicestershire’s matches in the Champions League T20s but did not advance past the qualification stage. He became a part of the Staffordshire club Hem Heath for the 2014 season.
In domestic cricket, Abdul became the head coach for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Under his guidance, the team won the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, National T20 Cup, and Pakistan Cup in the 2020–21 season. Later, he took on the role of head coach for Central Punjab for the 2021-22 domestic season. He became the interim head coach for the Pakistan national team, alongside Saqlain Mushtaq, on 6 September 2021. The PCB appointed them for the New Zealand tour of Pakistan in 2021 after Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis resigned as coaches. The series was later cancelled. In September 2022, Abdul took on the role of head coach for the Hyderabad Hunters team in the inaugural season of the Pakistan Junior League.
In November 2023, Abdul discussed the performance and coaching strategies of the Pakistan cricket team after the World Cup 2023 with the media and made a controversial remark about Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. He said in Urdu,
If your thinking is that you marry Aishwarya Rai and expect a pious and virtuous child to be born, then that can never happen.”
The comment quickly went viral on the internet, leading to widespread public criticism and disapproval from fellow cricketers. Later, Razzaq appeared on Samaa TV to explain the situation and said,
Yesterday, we were talking about cricket coaching and intentions. I had a slip of tongue and mistakenly took Aishwarya Rai’s name. I apologise to her personally. I did not intend to hurt anyone’s sentiment.” India Today
- 1996–2007: Lahore
- 1997–1999: Khan Research Laboratories
- 2001–2002: Pakistan International Airlines
- 2002–2003: Middlesex
- 2003–2004: Zarai
- 2004: Lahore Lions
- 2007: Worcestershire
- 2007–2009: Hyderabad Heroes
- 2008: Surrey
- 2010: Hampshire
- 2010: Sialkot Stallions
- 2011: Leicestershire
- 2011–2012: Melbourne Renegades
- 2012–2013: Wayamba United
- 2016: Lahore Qalandars
- He is a right-handed batsman and right-arm fast-medium bowler.
- Abdul made his ODI debut on 1 November 1996 against Zimbabwe just a month before turning seventeen.
- In 2000, he became the youngest cricketer in the world to accomplish a hat-trick in Test cricket during a match against Sri Lanka.
- He has achieved three centuries and twenty-two half-centuries in One Day International matches.
- He reached his highest score of 112 runs against South Africa in 2002, forming a partnership of 257 runs with Pakistani batsman Saleem Elahi.
- He earned his second century with an unbeaten score of 107 runs in a match against Zimbabwe in 2004. He achieved his initial fifty in 90 deliveries, but then increased his scoring rate in the second half, making the next fifty runs in just 21 balls.
- In 2003–2004, he scored 89 runs from 40 balls against New Zealand. The opposing captain, Stephen Fleming, called him the “best hitter” in the world.
- In January 2005, he participated in the World Cricket Tsunami Appeal charity match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia, playing for the ACC Asian XI against the ICC World XI.
- As a fast bowler, he experienced a gradual decline in both speed and performance during the 2003 Cricket World Cup and 2004. In a match, he failed to take Tendulkar’s catch, who later scored a match-winning 98 (75). During this period, he played a supporting role as a bowler.
- Between 2005 and 2006, he regained his speed and played a crucial part in Pakistan’s victories, contributing significantly with his bowling.
- His best performance in a One Day International match is capturing 6 wickets for 35 runs.
- Another notable performance occurred against Sri Lanka in Sharjah in 1999. In that match, Pakistan scored 196 runs, and he claimed 5 wickets for 31 runs, leading to a tied game.
- During the Test match series against India in 2005–2006, he secured 9 wickets and scored 205 runs across the two matches.
- Between 2000 and 2006, his batting remained consistent, although his position on the Test team was never assured.
- In 2005, it was revealed that he was feeling nauseous and unwell during matches because he was consuming too much spinach. Consequently, his teammates began to nickname him ‘Popeye.’
- In the 2007 Cricket World Cup, he faced difficulties both as a batsman and a bowler, including an injury that forced him to withdraw from the tournament. This led to him being left out of the 2007 World Twenty20 as well. The decision received widespread criticism from the cricket community.
- On 20 August 2007, he announced his retirement in reaction to not being selected for the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 squad.
- On 27 October 2007, he changed his mind after talking with his local cricket club and coach, saying, “Perhaps I made that decision in the spur of the moment.” In an interview, he talked about his retirement decision and said,
By my making an announcement saying that I’ve retired, it doesn’t mean that it’s a permanent thing.”
- Abdul sustained a hand injury just before the first ODI against Australia, leading to his absence from the entire five-match series and the Twenty20 match. He was hurt on the hand during batting practice sessions.
- Abdul took on the role of a senior player in the Pakistan cricket team, especially with other players dealing with selection concerns. He participated in the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 and smashed five sixes. Later, Pakistan was eliminated from the tournament after a loss to Australia in the semi-final.
- Razzaq kept making contributions during the 2010 Asia Cup.
- In July 2010, he played in two T20Is against Australia, and Pakistan won both matches. However, he was not part of the Test series against Australia and England. In September 2010, he made a comeback to participate in the Twenty20 and ODI series against England.
- Abdul missed the first two ODIs against England because of a back strain, leading to Pakistan’s defeats in both matches. He returned for the third ODI, scoring 31 runs in a partnership with Shahid Afridi. However, Afridi was run out, and shortly after, Abdul was caught in the deep square leg as Pakistan was bowled out for 241. He also took two wickets, contributing to Pakistan’s 23-run victory.
- His contributions in the lower order were valuable for his domestic team, the Lahore Lions. He scored 138 runs in four innings, with an impressive unbeaten 73 in the final, guiding his team to success in the 2010-11 Faysal Bank Twenty-20 Cup.
- On 31 October 2010, in the second One Day International against South Africa, he made an undefeated 109* off 72 balls with a strike rate of 151.38. This outstanding innings, including seven fours and ten sixes, guided Pakistan to a one-wicket victory with one ball left, equalizing the 5-match series 1–1.
- He struggled with the bat in the first two Twenty20 matches against New Zealand. He showcased a praiseworthy performance with the ball, getting Jesse Ryder out for a golden duck in the second Twenty20.
- In the third match, he made 34 runs off only 11 balls, hitting 3 fours and 3 sixes. His effort aided Pakistan in reaching a total of 184.
- He bowled exceptionally well, getting rid of the series’ leading run-scorer, Martin Guptill, without scoring. Additionally, he took two more important wickets in the top order, dismissing Ross Taylor leg-before and clean-bowling James Franklin.
- He received the Player of the Match honour for his exceptional all-around display, playing a key role in Pakistan’s 103-run win.
- In 2018, a post on social media falsely claimed that Abdul had died in a car accident. He later used Twitter to clarify that he was alive and said,
Today on Facebook somebody gave incorrect news that Abdul Razzaq has died in a road accident. It is regrettable, people should not do such things. Such news should not be posted on the social media. Al Hamdulillah, I am absolutely fine.”
- According to him, when he made his debut in 1996, players were paid Rs. 10,000 per match.
- In an interview, Razzaq mentioned that he had numerous sponsors and advertisements during his playing career, which gave him additional income.
- He participated in 265 One Day Internationals (ODIs) and 46 Test matches.
- At the age of 38, he announced his comeback to playing first-class cricket at the domestic level. This choice followed his short stints as a coach for various domestic teams in Pakistan after he retired from international cricket in 2013.