A video of Pakistan's men's cricket team captain Babar Azam wearing a saffron scarf is viral online with the false claim that the entire team was welcomed to India for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup with saffron scarves.
The colour saffron is considered holy in Hinduism. It is also a colour associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
BOOM found that the claims are false and the team members were welcomed with scarves of different colours such as blue, violent, green, and pink, along with saffron.
The Pakistan cricket team arrived at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad on September 28 to participate in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, currently being hosted in India. This marks Pakistan's first visit to India in seven years amid strained relations between the two countries. The last time Pakistan played in India was during the 2016 T20 World Cup.
A 17-second clip showing Babar Azam wearing a saffron scarf after being welcomed in India is viral online. A caption on Facebook reads, "Pakistani players welcomed in India with a saffron scarves. The Pakistan cricket team has arrived in India to participate in the World Cup. The saffron flag was seen on Babri (masjid) and now you can see it on Babar too."
(Original text in Hindi: "पाकिस्तानी खिलाड़ियों का भगवा गमछा पहनाकर भारत में स्वागत, वर्ल्ड कप खेलने भारत पहुंची है पाकिस्तानी क्रिकेट टीम। भगवा झंडा बाबरी पर भी दिखा था और अब बाबर पे भी देख लो")
Click here to view the post.Right-wing X account Megh Updates shared the video with the caption, "New Bharat- Video of Pakistan Cricket Team players, upon arrival in India, greeted with BHAGWA Gamchas has gone viral on SM."
BOOM has previously debunked several false claims made by this account. Read here.
BOOM found that the viral claims are misleading and the Pakistani cricket team was welcomed with scarves of different colours, not just saffron.
We ran a keyword search on Google using "Pakistani players welcomed in India" and found a video uploaded by the official channel of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the governing body of the sport in the country.
The video, uploaded on September 28, 2023 was shared with the title 'A warm welcome in Hyderabad as we land on Indian shores | #CWC23 #WeHaveWeWill | PCB | MA2A'
The video shows the Pakistan team receiving a warm welcome from fans at the Hyderabad airport, followed by their arrival at the Park Hyatt Hotel. Here, the staff is seen welcoming them with drinks and draping scarves around their shoulders. The second half of the video shows the players being given scarves of all colours including pink, violet, blue, green, and saffron, among others.
Below are some screenshots from the video shared by the PCB.
Following their team's arrival in India, Azam took to his Instagram story and wrote, "Overwhelmed with the love support here in Hyderabad." Wicket keeper Muhammad Rizwan also shared his experience int his X post from September 28 and wrote, "Amazing reception from the people here. Everything was super smooth. Looking forward to the next 1.5 months 😇"