Fans fume after Cricket Australia pokes fun at Sachin.
New Delhi: Fans of Sachin Tendulkar were left fuming on Tuesday after Cricket Australia poked fun at the “little master” — revered as a quasi-god in India — on his 45th birthday.
The board posted a video of retired Australian paceman Damien Fleming — who shares a birthday with Tendulkar — bowling the Indian great with a quick delivery.
“Some @bowlologist gold from the man himself — happy birthday, Damien Fleming!” Cricket Australia quipped in its tongue-in-cheek message.
But the humour was lost on Tendulkar’s millions of fans on the sub-continent, who seemed to either miss the joke or balk at the perceived slight on such a hallowed day.
“No matter how many bans, Australians will never change,” wrote Shashank, a Tendulkar fan, dredging up the recent bans handed to top Australian players over a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa that shook the cricketing world.
“Hi, could you please check the full footage of that match to know that @bowlologist got swing because of any sandpaper or sugar ?????” wrote Arjun, another fan of Little Master, also alluding to the affair that saw Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft suspended.
Tendulkar — who is followed by almost 26 million fans on Twitter and worshipped by many more in India — has not commented on the video.
His birthday was celebrated across the country, with many of his ardent followers cutting cakes in rituals given airtime on Indian television.
Tendulkar, the highest run-scorer of all time in both Test matches and one-day internationals, retired after playing in 200 Tests in which he scored 15,921 runs.
Wishes pour inHis opening partner Virender Sehwag wrote: “Many more happy returns of the day to a man who could stop time in India (literally).Thank you for making the Cricket Bat such a great weapon, which later many like me could also use.”
It was not a surprise that #HappyBirthdaySachin was trending on leading social media platform Twitter.
“To the man who united a billion Indians and brought a smile to their faces everytime he walked out to bat. A dream that he turned into reality. Sachin is an emotion.. Sachin is a phenomena!” posted the Southpaw batsman Suresh Raina.
Rahul wrote: “The Legend, The God of Cricket - @sachin_rt. You inspire me everyday paaji, Happy Bday to you!”
Yuvraj Singh, Ishant Sharma and Harbhajan Singh were also among the many cricketers who wished Tendulkar.