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Poster does not show Indian fan supporting Babar Azam

The placard is doctored


Claim: A photo shows an Indian fan holding a placard supporting Pakistan’s cricket team captain Babar Azam at a match.

Fact: The viral photo is doctored. The original poster, dating back to 2018, features former Indian captain MS Dhoni’s name instead of Babar Azam.

Fact or Fiction?

On 27 January 2023, Twitter user Nawaz (@Rnawaz31888) shared a photo claiming that it shows an Indian fan holding a placard in support of Pakistan’s cricket team captain Babar Azam.

“Babar Azam fan in Ranchi India …,” the tweet reads.

The slogan on the poster states:


The poster was shared with the claim that it was displayed during India vs New Zealand’s first T20 match, played on 27 January 2023, by an Indian fan on Facebook.

To figure out the origin of the photo, Soch Fact Check used Google Reverse Image Search, which led us to a 21 July 2021 tweet by user @Dhonivicky738. The tweet features a similar photo as the viral photo, but instead of Babar Azam, former Indian captain MS Dhoni’s name is mentioned on the placard. 

The following graphic shows a comparison between the viral image and the original image.

Soch Fact Check reverse image searched the photo featured in the tweet and came across an article by DNA India published on 21 April 2018, which carries the same photo.

We found the same photo on ESPN Cricinfo’s website with the caption, “MS Dhoni or Sachin Tendulkar?, Mumbai Indians v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2018, Mumbai.” The caption suggests it was taken on 17 April 2018. 


The claim posted by the Twitter user — @Rnawaz31888 — gained significant traction, with over 30,600 people viewing the post, 21 retweets and 197 likes as of writing time.

On Facebook, the doctored photo can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Conclusion: The viral image is doctored to make it look like an Indian fan carried a poster at a match to support Babar Azam. But the original poster features MS Dhoni’s name, and the image dates back to 2018.

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