The Indian cricket team played Pakistan in a group-stage match of the Asia Cup 2023 match at Pallekele, Sri Lanka, on September 2. Before the match was abandoned due to rain, India scored 266 in the first innings. The match was called off around 9.52 pm IST. Pakistan did not come out to bat.

Later that night, a purported statement to NDTV by Sunil Gavaskar went viral on X (formerly Twitter). The former opening batsman and now commentator reportedly told NDTV, “It should be a matter of utter shame for us as Indians for politicizing, ruining and basically hijacking this beautiful game of cricket. BCCI has let India down and tonight’s results are a testimony of it.”

The said comments by Gavaskar were first tweeted from a handle named Hassan (@hi__hassan). It was reposted around 2,500 times and viewed almost 13 Lakh times.

About an hour later, the user replied to his own tweet, saying “Sunil Gavaskar putting his retirement life on line in front of 1.2 billion mob-lynchers is highly appreciated. Hope his media contracts aren’t affected after speaking truth on national television.”

We noted that while quote-tweeting Hassan or replying to his tweet, some users expressed doubts over the authenticity of the ‘quote’. But at the same time, others took it at face value and expressed their opinions.

Several other X users tweeted Sunil Gavaskar’s photo and the ‘quote’ and made the same claim. On Facebook, a fan page of Pakistan Cricket shared the same ‘comments’ by Gavaskar.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Completely Fabricated: Rohan Gavaskar

Quote-tweeting Hassan, the cricket legend’s son Rohan Gavaskar said the statement attributed to his father was completely fabricated. “He hasn’t made this statement and someone is just trying to create mischief. It’s absolutely ridiculous that people would use his name to get more engagement,” he added.

He also pointed out that the senior Gavaskar was under contract with India Today, and hence was not in a position to speak to NDTV anyway.

Refuted by NDTV

We also performed a Google search, but could not find any news report on Gavaskar’s alleged remarks. A keyword search revealed that NDTV had not done any story where Gavaskar had commented on the ‘politicization of cricket’. All NDTV English reports which mention Sunil Gavaskar can be found here.

To corroborate this, we reached out to NDTV. Sports editor Rica Roy confirmed to us that Sunil Gavaskar had not made any such comment to the television channel and NDTV had not run any such bulletin. We also contacted the digital sports desk of the outlet. “The sports desk has not done any such report,” they confirmed.

CricketNDTV (@CricketNDTV) later put out a tweet refuting the claim. “The comment in the tweet is wrongly attributed to NDTV. No such remarks were made to NDTV by Sunil Gavaskar,” it said.

To sum up, a fake quote attributed to Sunil Gavaskar is viral, where the cricket legend purportedly slams the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for ‘politicizing, ruining and basically hijacking’ the game of cricket. Gavaskar has not made any such comment to NDTV or any other news outlet.

Donate to Alt News!
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.

Donate Now

About the Author

Indradeep, a journalist with over 10 years' experience in print and digital media, is a Senior Editor at Alt News. Earlier, he has worked with The Times of India and The Wire. Politics and literature are among his areas of interest.