Cricket is next to religion for Indians living in the country and abroad. And it is not every day that one gets to see his favourite cricketers from an arm’s length. On Friday, cricket enthusiast and Youtuber Navaldeep Singh chanced upon to meet Indian cricketers at Secret Kitchen restaurant at Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne, ahead of the 3rd Test match. In a tweet, Singh informed that Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant, Rohit Sharma and Navdeep Saini were dining at a table, in front of him.
Bc mere saamne waale table par gill pant sharma saini fuckkkkkk pic.twitter.com/yQUvdu3shF— Navaldeep Singh (@NavalGeekSingh) January 1, 2021
As an ardent cricket fan of the Indian team, he decided to pay their bill of $118.69 (₹6,681.66). He tweeted, “They are not aware but i have paid there table bill. Least i can do for my superstars.” When the cricketers learnt that Singh had paid the bill, they apparently approached him and requested to take the money.
In his own words, “Pant hugged me and said photo tabhi hogi jab pese loge wapis (We will click the picture together only if you take the money back). I said no bro not happening. Finally sabane photo khichwai..mja aa gya yaar (Finally, we clicked the picture. I am so happy)”
When they got know that i have paid the bill.. Rohit sharma said bhaji pese lelo yaar acha nai lagta.. i said no sir its on me. Pant hugged me and said photo tabhi hogi jab pese loge wapis. I said no bro not happening. Finally sabane photo khichwai 🙂 mja aa gya yaar #blessed— Navaldeep Singh (@NavalGeekSingh) January 1, 2021
Little did he know that the tweet would soon lend him and the Indian cricketers, especially, Rishabh Pant in trouble.
Australian Media digs a mountain out of a mole
The Australian media, infamous for taking potshots at visiting teams, decided to take the matter to the next level. In an article, The Sydney Morning Herald claimed that Indian nodal cricket body, BCCI, was reviewing the video posted on Twitter by Navaldeep Singh and that the players breached the Coronavirus protocols.
It added, “The Australian and Indian boards are investigating an apparent breach of Cricket Australia’s biosecurity protocols after several Test stars were filmed dining out in a Melbourne restaurant in an embarrassing bubble blunder just days before an already controversial Sydney Test.”
Indian players put under isolation
Quoting Cricket Australia, cricket.com.au wrote, “This will include separating the group of players from the broader Indian and Australian squads when travelling and at the training venue. Players will be permitted to train in accordance with the strict protocols that have been put in place to ensure the ongoing safety of all members of the Indian and Australian squads.” Similar claims were also made by cricket.com.au
BCCI slams Australian media
Cricket analyst, Boria Majumdar informed on Twitter that contrary to the social media claims, BCCI was not considering any investigation. “There is no investigation for a breach confirms BCCI and never was such a thing even under consideration,” he added.
While speaking to PTI, BCCI stated, “No, there has been no breach in biosecurity protocols. Everyone associated with the Indian team is well aware of the protocols.” Slamming the Australian media, an official said, “We can only term it as a malicious spin by a section of Australian media and this has started after their humiliating defeat…The Australian media at times acts as an extension of their cricket team.”
Cricket fan cites clarification and apology
Following the social media upheaval, Navaldeep Singh took to Twitter to clarify on Saturday morning that he never hugged Rishabh Pant. “Clarification – Pant never hugged me it was all said in excitement we maintained social distance all thru:) Apologies for miscommunication,” he wrote.
Indian fans lambasted Navaldeep Singh for putting the lives of cricketers at risk and ‘breaking’ protocols. In his defence, Navaldeep Singh said that as a Punjabi, he is used to listening to the choicest of expletives. However, he lamented that he was now against his own countrymen for his actions. ” I am really sad that I am against my country people at the moment. I am really sorry people and I just hope ke sab thik ho jaaye (everything is fine),” he tweeted.
Mujhe log galiya de rae h.. dekho gaaliyo ka farak nai padta mujhe hum punjabi h 400-500 gaaliyan dosto ke saath bethe to apas main de dete h.. but i am really sad that i am against my country people at the moment. I am really sorry people and i just hope ke sab thik ho jaaye 😭— Navaldeep Singh (@NavalGeekSingh) January 2, 2021
Indian cricketers ate beef?
Meanwhile, an image of the full bill that was paid by the fan has gone viral on social media. We cannot confirm whether it is the authentic bill of the dinner consumed by the Indian cricketers. But the content of the bill has sparked a massive controversy on social media. The copy of the bill doing the rounds shows that the cricketers allegedly consumed beef.
It has sparked a massive outrage on social media. We cannot confirm precisely which cricketer ate beef or if any of them ate beef at all.
So, this bunch ate beef indeed. That’s why the guy smartly hid the portion of the bill which had the mention of beef, but forgot to conceal it on Instagram.— Neta Ji (@AapGhumaKeLeLo_) January 2, 2021
WOW… SHAME ON YOU @ImRo45, @RishabhPant17, @RealShubmanGill!!!
Matlab aisi bhi kya majboori? pic.twitter.com/ITlAv0hM3P
Beef Eater Rohit Sharma is just ordinary cricketer who become famous just because of money but these people are just another hypocrite who has nothing to do with our culture or anything don’t make them your idol they are just here for fame and money pic.twitter.com/XvPa4qLhlw— Wali (@netaji_bond) January 2, 2021
Rohit Sharma, especially, is coming under intense criticism.
Rohit Sharma beef eater was giving lecture during Diwali about animals and now breaking protocols and eating animals. Making him captain is cancel now only Rahane deserves the position.— Akshay (@AkshayKatariyaa) January 2, 2021
save rhinos eat beef pic.twitter.com/4w6qTE0RiV— ex capt. (@thephukdi) January 2, 2021
India is set to play against Australia in the 3rd Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on January 7. India has levelled the series against its arch-rival. With the comeback of Rohit Sharma, India is hoping to clinch the series with a victory in the next match.