An edited image showing Australian cricketer Glenn Maxwell touching former Indian cricket player Sachin Tendulkar's feet is viral with the claim that it is a real photo of Maxwell paying his respects to Tendulkar during Australia's match against Afghanistan on November 7, 2023.
BOOM found that in the original photo Tendulkar was shaking hands with a member of the Afghan cricket team, during his interaction with the Afghan team ahead of the match against Australia.
Maxwell scored a rare double century against Afghanistan in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup on November 7, leading Australia to a victory with three wickets and three overs remaining. The image is being shared in this backdrop.
Several users on Facebook shared the image with the caption, "When Sachin Tendulkar came to congratulate Maxwell yesterday in the ground, the great Maxwell bowed down and touched the feet of the legend, Sachin Tendulkar and asked for blessings. One of the greatest moments in the history of cricket. Salute to these great cricketers!!"
BOOM used keyword searches to look for news reports on Maxwell touching Tendulkar's feet, but was unable to find any credible report stating so.
Instead, we found a number of similar claims being made about various other players touching Tendulkar's feet during the Afghanistan-Australia match on November 7, 2023 by obscure accounts on YouTube. Some claims stated that Ibrahim Zadran touched his feet, while another stated that Rashid Khan had done the same.
The keyword search also led us to several videos and images from Tendulkar's interaction with the Afghan team ahead of the match, during which he also gave a 'pep talk' to the Afghan players. We noticed that Tendulkar was wearing the exact same striped t-shirt, as seen in the viral photo.
Taking cue from this we started looking for various photos and images from this interaction between Tendulkar and the Afghan players, which led us to an image published by Getty Images, showing Tendulkar shaking the hands of an individual in the Afghan cricket jersey.
BOOM noticed that Tendulkar's frame in the photo is a very close match to the one seen in the viral image.
BOOM compared the two images side-by-side, and found that the shadows and the creases on Tendulkar's polo t-shirt where exactly the same in both the photos.
We further zoomed in on his hand in the viral picture, and noticed that you could see him grabbing someone else's hand behind Maxwell's frame. This was an exact match with the image of Tendulkar shaking the hand of the individual in the Afghan jersey.
This establishes that Tendulkar's frame from the Getty Images photo has been cropped and added to Maxwell's frame, in order to fabricate the image which has gone viral.
BOOM has reached out to Tendulkar for a comment on whether Maxwell, or any other player had touched his feet during the match. The article will be updated upon receiving a response.
Additional reporting by Sujith A.