Below-the-belt behaviour: Aijaz Aslam claps back at trolls body shaming Azam Khan

Veteran actor urges focus on skill, not physical appearance

Entertainment Desk June 09, 2024

As cricket lovers’ emotions run high with the Men’s T20 World Cup in full swing, Aijaz Aslam addressed a recent exhibit of a troubling phenomenon: body shaming. Witnessing the online trolls chasing cricketer Azam Khan, Aijaz argued how body shaming is pure vitriol, not criticism.

Taking to his Instagram Story, the veteran actor expressed his disappointment over the personal attacks directed at the young athlete. "Why are people body shaming Azam Khan? It’s not understandable and it’s a very below-the-belt behaviour from many," Aijaz wrote. He emphasised that while criticism is a natural part of sports, it should be focused on performance rather than personal appearance. 

He said, "Criticism is part of the game but we can criticise his performance without resorting to body shaming." The 25-year-old cricketer has been a subject of harsh scrutiny over what many insist is a poor performance this T20 season, dragging his physique into the mix as well. 

Furthering on, Aijaz highlighted the adverse effects such negativity can have on a young player's mental health. "He’s a young man and such negativity puts undue pressure and stress on his mental health." The actor further defended Azam's inclusion in the team, pointing out that every player experiences both highs and lows in their career. 

"Azam is in the team for a reason, boasting a strike rate of 148 in T20. Every player has good and bad days." Aijaz concluded his message with a plea to the public: "Please stop body shaming and let him live."  

On Thursday, Azam engaged in a heated exchange with a fan after being dismissed for a golden duck in the T20 World Cup 2024 match against the United States. Azam, facing a recent struggle for form, was caught LBW by Nosthush Kenjige for 0. As he walked back to the pavilion, the cricketer displayed animated expressions and exchanged stares with a fan. 

Though the exact reason behind the incident remains unknown, the viral image sparked social media discussion, with some users referencing 'nepotism' due to Azam being the son of ex-Pakistan captain Moin Khan.

In a surprising turn of events, newcomers USA defeated former champions Pakistan in the Super Over, marking the first major upset of the ongoing T20 World Cup. Pakistan, batting first, posted 159 for seven in 20 overs, while the USA responded with 159 for three.

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