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ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Pakistan ad mocks pilot Abhinandan, draws sharp reactions in India

A section of fans are upset that a pilot was dragged into a World Cup ad

By The Telegraph in New Delhi
  • Published 12.06.19, 4:02 PM
  • Updated 12.06.19, 4:12 PM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
(Left) The actor in the Pakistan ad; Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman Credit: Twitter handle @abhiemanyu

The immensely entertaining ‘Mauka Mauka’ ad from the 2015 World Cup has returned to Indian TV channels for this edition of the Cricket World Cup. On the other side of the border, a Pakistan TV channel has come up with its own campaign that parodies the capture of  IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman by Pakistan in February. 

The video by Pakistan's Jazz TV was released keeping in mind the match between Pakistan and India at Old Trafford, Manchester, on June 16.

The advertisement has an actor parodying Abhinandan. He is not named but sports a handlebar mustache and is in a blue jersey like the Indian cricket team.

He is heard repeating the pilot's lines from the video that was released by Pakistan defence forces after Abhinandan's capture. 

The actor can be seen saying: “I’m sorry, I am not supposed to tell you this” to questions about Indian cricket team’s strategies. 

However, unlike the Indian braveheart’s calm expression throughout the questioning, the actor in the ad looks frightened and jumpy. The actor mimicking Abhinandan also appears to have a blackened face, pointing to racist undertones.

While he is being questioned, the video shows the actor with a cup of tea in his hand.

The 33-second video ends with the faceless interrogator pulling back the actor when he gets up to leave after the questioning. 

He is heard telling the actor parodying the pilot: "Ek second ruko! Cup kahan leke ja raho ho? (wait a second! Where are you taking the cup?)," hinting at the World Cup trophy. The ad has attracted some reactions from Indians.

Businessman Harsh Goenka, chairman of the RPG Group called the ad shameful for Pakistan and asserted on the need for India to retaliate.

A few took the insult as a challenge and chose to encourage Team India to defeat Pakistan in the match.

Meanwhile, others questioned International Cricket Council’s silence on this.

A few still managed to find humour in the dose of insults from the other side, saying “such is our hero’s (Abhinandan’s) personality that no one can remain untouched by it”.

The India-Pak cricket rivalry has been one of the most intense and intensified sports rivalries. The ad campaigns surrounding the battling Indian and Pakistan cricket teams that harp on hatred bear testimony to this.

India has defeated Pakistan six times in the World Cup.