Bangladesh cricket have pulled a raunchy advert starring new Test star Sabbir Rahman and a model following social media outrage in the religiously conservative country, an industry official said Tuesday.
The advert has been airing on television since August but drew fresh attention this week after Sabbir’s superb batting brought the nation agonisingly close to its first-ever victory over England.
The advert shows Sabbir holed up inside his house drinking a non-alcoholic malt beverage called Oscar before being discovered by the model who is dressed as a policewoman.
The model seductively handcuffs the 24-year-old batsman before he responds that drinking Oscar means “a little privacy is indeed needed”.
“Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has circulated a directive to stop broadcasting of the ad,” a Bangladesh cricket board official said on condition of anonymity.
“It does not fit with the image of Bangladesh cricket,” he told AFP.
The advert has drawn sharp reaction online, mostly from those opposed to 34-year-old model Naila Nayem whose previous promotion of breast cancer screenings was seen by some as sexually suggestive.
“Absolute nonsense! I wonder why would Sabbir act in such a sexually tickling ad with Naila!” said Facebook user Rahat Khan.
Bangladeshi cricketers are feted like rockstars by millions in the socially conservative Muslim-majority country and are in huge demand to promote everything from noodles to mobile phones.
Sabbir was thrust into the national spotlight after hitting an unbeaten 64 runs in his first Test, which saw Bangladesh almost pull off an upset against England.
There was no immediate comment from Sabbir or Nayem.