RODNEY HOGG took fans ''inside the mind of a lunatic fast bowler'' in his autobiography and did so again yesterday with a Muslim slur that has landed him in controversy.
The outspoken former Test cricketer, who terrorised batsmen during his six-year international career, was forced to duck and weave after delivering a tweet described as ''more than despicable'' by the leader of an Islamic group.
''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 yesterday.
Hogg, 60, was forced to apologise twice on Twitter after his initial explanation drew as much ire as the offending tweet, which was deleted after several hours.
Hogg did not return calls from the Herald but texted: ''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.
The president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Ikebal Patel, said the remark was ''absolutely despicable'' for a person of Hogg's standing.
''For him to say such things is more than despicable, it's the pits really,'' Mr Patel said. ''It's not at all humorous. If that's the level of his humour then God help him.''
Mr 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,'' Mr Patel said.