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Cricket Australia did not dedicate World Cup trophy to Imran Khan

A fake letter circulating on social media claims that Cricket Australia honoured the former prime minister of Pakistan.

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Claim: Cricket Australia dedicated its World Cup trophy to Imran Khan and invited him to Australia as a chief guest to present him with the Medal of the Order of Australia.

Fact: Cricket Australia has confirmed to Soch Fact Check that no such letter or invitation has been sent to Imran Khan and that the letter circulating on social media is fake. The letter also has several errors and inconsistencies that make it implausible.

On 19 November 2023, Australia defeated India by six wickets in the Cricket World Cup 2023 final, held in Ahmedabad, India. Australia won their sixth World Cup title, while India missed out on their third.

On 21 November 2023, a X account called ‘Insaf Lawyers forum’, which claims to be the ‘Official Twitter account of Insaf Lawyers Forum for Latest Courtroom Information’, posted an image of a letter purportedly from Cricket Australia.The letter, addressed to former cricketer and politician Imran Khan,congratulates him on his achievements in cricket and politics and claims that Cricket Australia – which is the country’s governing authority for professional cricket – has dedicated its World Cup trophy to him. 

Towards the end, the letter  invites Khan to Australia as a chief guest to present him with the Medal of the Order of Australia, the highest civilian honour in the country.

The letter was seemingly signed by Mike Baird, the chairman of Cricket Australia, and Nick Hockley, the chief executive officer of Cricket Australia.

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check emailed Cricket Australia for clarification and received the following response, “This letter was not issued by Cricket Australia and in no way represents the views of our organisation or officials.”

The letter appears to be a forgery and contains several errors and inconsistencies, which make its authenticity questionable:.

  • The letter refers to Imran Khan as ‘the Imran Khan’ in the first line, which is unusual.
  • The letter has grammatical errors, such as ‘your truly’ instead of ‘yours truly’, ‘we like to invite you’, and ‘we have the opportunity to read and learn from your cricket skills’..
  • The letter uses a different font size for the words ‘Medal of the Order of Australia’, which is written in an extremely large font.
  • The names of the CEO and chairman appear to be copy-pasted from Wikipedia.
  • The letter lacks any traceable official details, such as a date, the contact details of the sender, or a reference number.

Virality

The letter was widely shared on social media. 

Insaf Lawyers forum’s X post received more than 201,300 views, 7,500 likes and 3,000 reposts. The claim was also posted and then deleted by journalist Sabir Shakir on X, where he has 3.4 million followers. His post was seen at least 342,500 times before being removed. 

The claim was  reposted on Facebook multiple times.

Conclusion: A fake letter claims that Cricket Australia has dedicated its World Cup trophy to Imran Khan and invited him to Australia as a chief guest to present him with the Medal of the Order of Australia. Cricket Australia has denied sending any such letter or invitation.

Background image in cover photo: Twitter

To appeal against our fact-check, please send an email to appeals@sochfactcheck.com 

 

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