Peshawar Zalmi’s decision to appoint Esra Bilgiç as the face of the team has irked Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, who took to social media to express her disapproval.
Commenting under a post, which speculated that Zalmi has chosen Esra as their brand ambassador for the upcoming edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), Sharmeen said: “I find this hilarious! A Turkish actress whose country doesn’t even play the sport will now be a mascot for cricket.”
“What happened to Pakistani actresses by the way?” she continued. “Did they all disappear that we have to get foreign ones? Whatever is left of our industry will die if you keep paying Turkish actors for jobs Pakistani actors can do!”
When an Instagram user responded to Chinoy and said that giving work to foreign actors will be good for the industry, Chinoy said: “You don’t know anything about the industry. How can you say it’s good for it?”
“We have a very small industry, we have to protect it,” she continued. “Once we grow, we can open up. Please do your research before making such tall claims.”
“This is not about close-mindedness or about being jealous, this is being practical given the resources we have,” she added.
Responding to another user who advised her not to be jealous, Chinoy said: “Last I checked I was a filmmaker, not an actress but since most of you don’t care about Pakistani film industry, let me lay it out for you.”
“If you stop sponsoring your own actors and actresses whatever is left of the industry will die. But trolls like you don’t care that you can take a punt at me! Good luck with that,” she added.
Bilgiç aka Haleema Sultan recently left fans in a tizzy after she posted a picture of Islamia University Peshawar with the caption “The City of Flowers”.
While it has not yet been confirmed whether the star has signed a deal with the team, Peshawar Zalmi owner Javed Afridi added more fuel to the fire by retweeting Esra’s tweet and posting one with the same caption.
Earlier in July 2020, Afridi had asked Zalmi fans what they thought about having the cast of Dirilis: Ertuğrul as the brand ambassador of the team. Responding to Afridi’s tweet, the Turkish actress had said: “I will be sharing some good news with you soon.”
Recently, several Turkish actors from the super hit drama series have visited Pakistan for different purposes. From Engin Altan Düzyatan (Ertuğrul Bey) to Cavit Çetin Güner (Dogan Alp) and Celal AL (Abdur Rehman Alp), almost every prominent actor from the drama series has visited different cities of the country.
Diriliş: Ertuğrul has been trending in Pakistan ever since its first episode aired on PTV Home in Ramzan 2020. Pakistanis are loving the drama series and it has become a sensation in the country. According to details, millions of people have tuned in to watch the show on PTV and YouTube.