‘Tea is Fantastic’: PSL team’s “distasteful” tweet causes uproar

Reigning Pakistan Super League champions Lahore Qalandars have disturbed the hornet’s nest with a controversial tweet, taking a dig at Indian fighter jet pilot Abhinandan Varthaman. Lahore Qalandars, who have over a million followers, tweeted a photograph of all-rounder Mohammad Hussain Talat enjoying a cup of tea with the caption: “Ye tu “Tea is Fantastic” hogya”, sparking an uproar on social media.

In 2019, wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s MiG-21 lost connection with Indian Airforce and veered into Pakistan, where it was eventually shot down. Although Abhinandan safely ejected, he was caught by the Pakistani locals and later taken into custody by their army.

A video was later released by Pakistani authorities, where Abhinandan thanked their officials for providing him with medical care and treating him professionally. “I’d like to put this on record: I will not change my statement even when I go back to my country. The officers of the Pakistan Army have looked after me very well, starting from the captain who rescued me from the mob, from the soldiers, and thereafter, the officers of the unit I was taken to. I would expect my army to behave in the same way. And I’m very impressed with the Pakistan Army,” the fighter jet pilot said in the clip. A Pakistani official then asked Abhinanadad if he liked the tea and he responded: “The tea is fantastic, thank you.”

Since then, Pakistan’s social media has been ablaze with “tea is fantastic” memes aimed at India and Abhinandan. Even Pakistani celebrities like Fakhar-e-Alam joined the bandwagon.

“Wishing you all a very Happy Fantastic Tea Day. A gentle reminder that we serve fantastic tea on the dialogue table as well. So, the choice is yours, [whether] you want to pay with a plane and a pilot or just have a nice talk and sip on tea for free,” he had tweeted.

But the latest tweet by PSL giants Lahore Qalandars is likely to further sour the already tense relations with the Indian cricket board. PSL is currently streamed on Sony Live in India, and this tweet could affect their broadcast in the country as well.

Indians replied to the Lahore franchise’s tweet by pointing out that it was only last year that Pakistan Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal was urging Pakistanis to drink less tea to help the economy.

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