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Cyber bouncer hits India's top cricketers

india Updated: Sep 01, 2009 02:00 IST
short-pitched deliveries

They may have trained hard to counter the short-pitched deliveries in their preparatory camp but it's a cyber bouncer that has left India's top cricketers a worried lot.

As the star players gear up for a gruelling season ahead, they are faced with a bizarre problem -- cyber impersonation on micro-blogging site 'Twitter'.

The increasing popularity of the site in India has brought with it a problem which has the potential to create confusion and mislead unsuspecting cricket buffs.

What is worse, the players, who have millions of fans in a cricket-crazy nation, can do little about it.

Most of the celebrated Indian players have accounts on Twitter but almost all of them are fake. They have already drawn a huge list of dedicated followers and it keeps growing every passing day.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has four 'accounts' on the networking site with one of them having attracted 2291 followers till Sunday.

In the profile page, it shows Dhoni with the Indian cap and the bio says "I am the captain of the national cricket team".

Dhoni's agents and family members have made it clear that the Indian captain does not have an account on Twitter, seeking to dissociate themselves from the handiwork of a prankster who operates the page.

"Dhoni does not have an account on Twitter. Many people have called us and we want to clarify this point" his elder brother Narendra Singh Dhoni told PTI.

Some of the tweets from the impersonated Dhoni account, which ranges from the problems in DDCA to Vinod Kambli's reality show, have already created some controversy.

For example, a tweet on August 26 said "I wanted to give my regards to Vinod Kambli. Had he played to his potential, he had the chance to be as great as Sachin and Lara".

But apparently, it led to some misunderstanding among his followers. Hence another tweet within hours on the same day said "Please don't misunderstand comments about Sachin and Kambli. Sachin is the greatest batsman to ever play the game of cricket!!"

The cyber impersonation on Twitter is not restricted to Dhoni. Champion batsman Sachin Tendulkar has as many as seven accounts with one of them, which has his photo, having over 4594 followers.

Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh and Gautam Gambhir are among the top cricketers who have to deal with this Twitter menace.

With many celebrities worldwide joining the Twitter bandwagon, the social networking site is aware of such problems and has introduced a 'verified account' badge to lend genuineness to the account and prevent identity confusion.