Lahore (PTI): A day after being called out for making disrespectful comments against India pacer Arshdeep Singh, former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Kamran Akmal apologised for his "inappropriate" remarks while analysing the recent T20 World Cup clash between the two sides in New York.

In a viral video, Akmal was seen making fun of Arshdeep's Sikh religion, prompting a furious response from ace Indian cricketer-turned-commentator Harbhajan.

"I deeply regret my recent comments and sincerely apologise to Harbhajan Singh and the Sikh community. My words were inappropriate and disrespectful. I have the utmost respect for Sikhs all over the world and never intended to hurt anyone. I am truly sorry. #Respect #Apology," Akmal wrote on X, tagging Harbhajan.

Akmal's remarks came during the tense penultimate over of the clash, when Pakistan needed 17 runs in the last over in their chase of 120.

Left-arm pacer Arshdeep performed the task to perfection, sealing a six-run win over the arch-rivals. Akmal, while analysing the match on ARY News, made the controversial comments on Arshdeep before he came in to bowl.

"Kuch bhi ho sakta hai... Dekhe last over karna Arshdeep Singh ne hai. Waise uska rhythm nahi laga. 12 baj gaye hai (Anything can happen. The last over will be bowled by Arshdeep Singh; he hasn't looked in a great rhythm. And It is already 12)," he said.

In the video reposted by Harbhajan, Akmal was also seen laughing with other panellists on the show. The Indian off-spinner lashed out at Akmal.

"...You should know the history of sikhs before u open ur filthy mouth. We Sikhs saved ur mothers and sisters when they were abducted by invaders, the time invariably was 12 o'clock. Shame on you guys.. Have some Gratitude."

The win at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York put India at the top of Group A with four points from two wins.


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Rajkot (PTI): Main markets in Gujarat's Rajkot city wore a deserted look and various other establishments remained closed on Tuesday as a bandh was observed to mark one month of the fire tragedy at a game zone which claimed 27 lives.

Schools, colleges, tuition centres, gold and jewellery markets and other commercial establishments also remained shut to support the 'Rajkot bandh' called by the opposition Congress.

Several commercial associations supported the Congress' bandh call by announcing closure of their businesses for the day.

Police personnel were deployed at different places in the city and patrolling was intensified as part of the security arrangements to avoid any untoward incident.

Congress MLA Jignesh Mevani, state party president Shaktisinh Gohil and other local leaders came out in different areas of Rajkot to thank businessmen for their support in making the bandh "successful".

The Congress gave the call for a half-day bandh on Tuesday, to remember those who lost their lives in the fire tragedy at the TRP game zone in Rajkot on May 25 and to demand a higher compensation to the kin of the deceased.

It has also demanded justice to the families of the deceased and a fair probe into the incident by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the state government.

Family members of the victims had also appealed for the bandh. Relatives of some of the fire tragedy victims interacted with Congress MP Rahul Gandhi through video conference on June 22.

Twenty seven persons, including children, were charred to death in the massive fire which gutted the game zone on May 25.

Following the incident, the state government formed the SIT under Additional Director General of Police Subhash Trivedi to find out the causes of fire, loopholes in the system and to suggest steps to be taken to prevent such incidents in the future.

As many as 15 persons have been arrested so far in connection with the fire tragedy, including five owners of the game zone and some senior officials from the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC).

A police investigation indicated the game zone was running without a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the RMC's fire department.

On June 15, Congress workers organised a protest gathering outside the city police commissioner's office.