ICC mocks PM Narendra Modi with sarcastic tweet, later apologises
NEW DELHI: Cricket´s world governing body apologised Wednesday after leaving a sarcastic remark on a video showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi sharing a stage with an Indian guru convicted of raping a teenage girl.
The International Cricket Council went into damage control after its Twitter account posted the Hindu prayer "Narayan, Narayan" (Oh Lord, Oh Lord) beneath a video of Modi standing with Asaram Bapu.
Asaram, one of India´s self-styled spiritual gurus who commands a following of millions, was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for raping a teenage devotee in 2013.
Images of Modi and the controversial spiritual leader have resurfaced since Asaram´s conviction.
Photos of the pair distributed by the main opposition Congress party have drawn angry outbursts from the prime minister´s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
The ICC post was quickly deleted and a hasty mea culpa issued from the cricket body.
"ICC is dismayed at a non-cricket related tweet appearing on its Twitter feed earlier today," the sport´s governing body wrote on its official Twitter handle.
"We would like to extend our sincere apologies to anyone who was offended during the short space of time it was up. We have launched an investigation into how this happened."
But the gaffe was detected by some of the ICC´s eight million Twitter followers, who took umbrage with sporting body wading into the controversy.
"ICC Trolling Modi and Asaram. How Anti National is this ICC," wrote one Twitter user.
Another, Piyush Kulshreshtha, posted: "This is scandalous. ICC has to be shaken."
Asaram, 77, who leads hundreds of ashrams in India and overseas, was convicted for life for raping a girl on the pretext of ridding her of evil spirits.
His website boasts of many high-profile believers and admirers, including Modi and previous prime ministers. - APP /AFP