Adelaide: Former Australian cricketer Rodney Hogg found himself in the middle of a controversy over his tweet which was described as "more than despicable" by a leader of an Islamic group.
The former fast bowler, who claimed 123 wickets in his six-year-old career of 38 Tests for Australia, had taken a potshot at the Muslims on Thursday, but later had to apologise for his offending comments.
"Just put out my Aussie flag for Australia Day but I wasn't sure if it would offend Muslims... So I wrote 'Allah is a shit' on it to make sure," Hogg tweeted at about noon on Thursday.
The 60-year-old was forced to apologise twice on Twitter after his initial explanation drew flak and was deleted after several hours.
According to Sydney Morning Herald, Hogg did not return calls from the media but tendered his apologies through a text message.
"Very bad attempted Aussie humour. My apologies for offending. that is all I wld like to say."
A similar explanation on Twitter outraged many users and prompted a second apology.
"My sincere apologies to the Muslim community. A stupid tweet by me in very bad taste," Hogg tweeted.
Outraged at the tweet, Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Ikebal Patel said, "For him to say such things is more than despicable, it's the pits really. It's not at all humourous. If that's the level of his humour, then God help him."
Patel, an Australia Day ambassador last year, said Hogg had tarnished his on-field achievements.
"I'm very disappointed that I paid money to watch him now," Patel said.