Screenshot from video posted on Twitter (left) and file photo of Abhinandan Varthaman (right).
The build-up by the broadcasters of India and Pakistan before any cricket match between the arch-rivals is quite normal. But an advertisement released by Jazz TV for its live coverage of the India-versus-Pakistan World Cup game has cross all the limits of decency.
Less than week a before the most-awaited clash between the Virat Kohli-led Team India and Sarfaraz Ahmed-led Pakistan, the channel aired an advertisement which took a dig at Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by the Pakistani Army on February 27 after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani jets during aerial combat.
The advertisement features a man with Varthaman’s trademark moustache who says: “I am sorry, I am not supposed to tell you that, sir,” when asked questions related to India’s playing XI and the team’s strategy if it wins the toss. IAF pilot Varthaman had the same response to questions that were posed to him by the Pakistan Army officials.
The lookalike is also seen sipping tea from a cup as the scene serves as a reminder of the grilling questioning of the Wing Commander.
Interestingly, while the Varthaman was calm in the video released by the Pakistani military, while in the ad, his lookalike is seen frightened.
The biggest game of the ICC World Cup 2019 is set to take place on Sunday (June 16) at the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester as traditional rivals India will face Pakistan in this marquee clash of the league stage.
The threat of rain however, looms large of the India vs Pakistan clash as the English summer has not really been kind to the Cricket World Cup so far.
Varthaman was captured by the Pakistani Army on February 27 after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani jets during aerial combat. Before his jet was hit, he downed an F-16 fighter of Pakistan. Varthaman was released on the night of March 1 by Pakistan. After he was captured, Varthaman showed courage and grace in handling the most difficult circumstances for which he was praised by politicians, strategic affairs experts, ex-servicemen, celebrities and people in general.
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after Indian fighters bombed terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed's biggest training camp near Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on February 26.
Pakistan retaliated by attempting to target Indian military installations the next day. However, the IAF thwarted their plans. The Indian strike on the JeM camp came 12 days after the terror outfit claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Kashmir, killing 40 soldiers.