A photograph posted by a Bangladeshi fan has been at the centre of a huge controversy in social media ahead of the Asia Cup final between India and Bangladesh on Sunday.
The photoshopped image shows Bangladeshi fast bowler Taskin Ahmed carrying the severed head of Indian limited-overs captain MS Dhoni and it has caused major outrage among the Indian cricket fans.
This isn’t the first time that Bangladeshi cricket fans have had a go at players of the Indian cricket team.
In 2015, after the Indian batsmen struggled against Mustafizur Rahman, who had made his debut during that series, a Bangladeshi newspaper posted a photo of half-shaved heads of the Indian players, in order to show the after effects of Mustafizur’s ‘cutters’ or slow deliveries.
The rivalry had taken a fierce form following the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup quarter-final that saw some close umpiring calls go India’s way.
Rohit Sharma was caught off what some believed to be a legal delivery, whereas the umpires had ruled it as a ‘no-ball’ for being above waist height.
Rohit went on to score a hundred in that game and India defeated Bangladesh to proceed to the semi-final of the World Cup. The defeat was followed by outrage in Bangladesh and a sense of anger still lingers among Bangla fans.
After the World Cup, Bangladesh defeated India 2-1 in a bilateral ODI series at home, wherein Mustafizur Rahman tormented the Indian batsmen with his subtle variations and pace.
India team director Ravi Shastri, on being asked about the image and the surrounding outrage at a press conference on Saturday, said that the Indian team do not read newspapers and that their job is only to play cricket.
The India-Bangladesh clash has also assumed prime importance among the fans on both sides of the border and it’s precisely for the same reason that the Asia Cup final is expected to a high octane one.