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ICC Clarifies Zainab Abbas’s Departure Amidst Controversy

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) has dispelled rumors of Pakistani sports presenter Zainab Abbas’s deportation from India, where she was a part of the World Cup 2023 broadcast team. The ICC clarified that her exit from the country was due to “personal reasons,” refuting earlier reports that suggested her departure was prompted by “security concerns.” These concerns had arisen after a complaint was filed in Delhi by a local lawyer, alleging that Zainab had posted “derogatory” tweets targeting the Hindu faith in the past.

ICC official C. Rajshekhar Rao confirmed this clarification to Arab News. While the complaint had cited screenshots of posts attributed to Zainab on the micro-blogging site X (formerly Twitter) in 2014, the veracity of these tweets could not be independently verified by themarkhortimes.com.

Notably, one of her tweets that came under scrutiny was indeed from her official account but was highlighted in the complaint due to its pro-Kashmir content.

According to Indian news website OPIndia, lawyer Vineet Jindal filed a cyber complaint against Zainab with the New Delhi police’s cyber cell on October 4. In the complaint, Jindal sought the registration of a first information report (FIR) against the presenter under various sections of the law, citing “disparaging remarks about Hinduism and anti-India statements” as the reasons.

In a post on X, the advocate also demanded Zainab’s removal from the list of presenters for the ongoing World Cup, asserting that “anti-Bharat people are not welcome in Bharat.”

Subsequently, on October 7, Vineet shared a redacted version of another letter he sent to the Board of Cricket Control of India Secretary Jay Shah. This letter contained the recipient’s name and the subject, urging action against the presenter for her alleged anti-India remarks.

In response to the allegations, Zainab “categorically denied the allegations” and maintained that she was “unjustly targeted.” Sources close to the presenter emphasized that she had been falsely accused and that her past social media activity was “taken out of context” and “unrelated to her work as a presenter.”

As the controversy surrounding Zainab Abbas’s departure from India continues to unfold, the ICC’s clarification sheds light on the situation. The allegations and subsequent responses highlight the complexities of navigating the intersection of sports, media, and societal sensitivities in the global arena.

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