Before the ICC World Cup 2019 officially started with the opening ceremony in London, all the 10 teams’ captains met Queen Elizabeth and Prince Harry at Buckingham Palace on 29 May.
All the captains were dressed in formal attire. In fact, nine out of the 10 men leading their teams were dressed in suits, while Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed chose to be different and wear his national outfit along with the team blazer.
There were many on Twitter who appreciated Sarfaraz for upholding the culture of his country.
Pakistani fans were so impressed by Ahmed that they even said, ‘Sarfaraz may or may not win the World Cup, but he has definitely won our hearts’.
Here are some of the reactions:
I really admire Pakistani Team Captain #SarfarazAhmed that he represents his country in front of Queen in their Traditional outfits #Respect ??@Rahulvats16 @TH3_GOOD_DEMON @erbmjha @Tushar_Maurya_7 @AKTKadmin pic.twitter.com/jzxK9mgjIj— MODI 2.0 Saransh Srivastava (@saransh2334) May 31, 2019
And as usual, as with anything on the internet, there were detractors.
Tarek Fatah, a Canadian journalist of Pakistani origin, wasn’t so impressed and tweeted:
Captains of #Cricket playing nations competing 4 the #CricketWorldCup had a photoshoot with the Queen. Guess who came dressed in his pyjamas? None other than the #Pakistan captain (back row, left). Take a look at him in the other pic. How does one country produce ...? #CricketWC pic.twitter.com/hXxbxrfzlj— Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) May 30, 2019
He went on to say that he was surprised Sarfaraz didn’t come out in a ‘Lungi-Banyan-Topi costume’.
Every other captain, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, SouthAfrica, NewZealand, West Indies & Zimbabwe is smartly turned out in jacket & tie, but no, not the Pakistani. No sir, not him. I’m surprised he didn’t come in his Lungi-Banyan-Topi costume. How does ...?— Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) May 30, 2019
But many more came out in support of Sarfaraz after Fatah’s tweet.
See absolutely nothing wrong with that. He is dressed well, looks good, embraces his culture, is confident enough to wear what he is comfortable in. See no reason for making any concessions for the queen.— Jai Hind (@mrjaihind) May 30, 2019
What’s wrong in wearing his National dress? In fact, I wish even Virat had the sense or right advice of wearing his national dress too!— Ranendra Ojha (@ranendra_ojha) May 30, 2019
the fact that #SarfarazAhmed is even SLIGHTLY being criticized for wearing traditional garb while meeting the queen is downright revolting. CULTURAL REPRESENTATION EXISTS. YOU DONT HAVE TO BE IN A SUIT AND TIE FOR EVERY MAJOR EVENT.— Basit Ali (@BasitAli92) May 30, 2019
Genuinely what a stupid tweet. It made me proud as a British Pakistani seeing #SarfarazAhmed wearing salwar kameez to meet the Queen. Nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about whatsoever. https://t.co/8l9Yql51cu— Haroon Rashid (@iHaroonRashid) May 30, 2019
Full offence to anyone who's criticising #SarfarazAhmed for wearing traditional clothes, you're nothing but a premature retard who will never stop obsessing over Fair skin, international clothes and Grammar. Your existence is nothing but a burden.— Warisha Siddiqui (@Warishasidiqui) May 30, 2019
Instead of shaming #SarfarazAhmed for wearing something unusual, we should laud him for carrying his culture. This is something we should learn from him. Meeting "The Queen" doesn't mean we'd neglect our roots. What's right is right.— Udit Pandey (@UditPandeyyyy) May 30, 2019
When Sarfaraz was asked about it, he said he was proud of wearing the national dress.
"“I was proud that I was wearing our national dress, while all other captains were dressed in suits.”" - Sarfaraz Ahmed
Pakistan is all set to to start their World Cup campaign against West Indies on 31 May at Trent Bridge.
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