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Fireworks before the big-bang Sunday Pak objects to Star’s ‘biased, jingoistic ads’

June 15, 2019 05:52 AM

COURTESY MIRROR JUNE 15

Fireworks before the big-bang Sunday
Pak objects to Star’s ‘biased, jingoistic ads’
PCB head Ehsan Mani writes to ICC, says Star not behaving like World Cup’s global broadcaster
| Vijay Tagore@timesgroup.com

IN MANCHESTER

Pakistan has written to the International Cricket Council (ICC) seeking action against Star TV for its “biased” World Cup promotion campaign, indicating an interesting turn in India-Pakistan ad wars ahead of the big bang Sunday clash between the two. Both India and Pakistan have been slammed for their over-the-top, jingoistic advertising as the clash between the two – easily one of the most awaited cup fixtures – at Old Trafford, Manchester looms. Pakistan’s use of the capture of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack in one of its advertisements has come in for criticism. At the same time, Star TV’s ads, where a man dressed in Indian colours appears to call himself Pakistan’s “abbu” have been flagged off for being offensive on both sides of the border. On Friday, Pakistan wrote to ICC asking it to censure Star TV -- the Indian cricket board’s broadcasting partner – for not being neutral in its advertising, making it look like only India is playing at the World Cup.


The letter signed by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani accuses Star of being blatantly nationalistic and says that such a jingoistic campaign is not expected from the global broadcaster of the tournament.

While Star officials refused to comment on the PCB letter, Mani refused to discuss its details with Mumbai Mirror. “We do a lot of things internally and I would not like this matter to be discussed in the media or in the public domain. You should check with the ICC about what we have written and what not,” he said.

The tone of India vs Pakistan telly wars was set by Star’s ‘Mauka Mauka’ campaign ahead of the 2015 World Cup. It highlighted the repeated failure of Pakistan against India in World Cup ties. It shows a Pakistani family arming itself with firecrackers to celebrate before every India-Pakistan match and then dejectedly putting the sparklers away – defeat after defeat. India and Pakistan have played each other six times in World Cup games since 1992 and India has emerged victorious every time.

Though the Pakistanis got one back by thrashing India in the Champions Trophy final in 2017, the World Cup record stays in India’s favour. On Sunday, Pakistan gets another chance to change that. And clever ads and punchlines will not matter when the two teams enter the ground at Manchester

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