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Viral video does not show Virat Kohli and Babar Azam hanging out

The video actually shows Kohli with other Indian players

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Claim: A video shows former Indian captain Virat Kohli and current Pakistani captain Babar Azam enjoying themselves together in Faisalabad during the IND-U19 visit to Pakistan in 2006.

Fact: The video only features Kohli, not Azam. Babar Azam was only 12 years old in 2006 and did not play in the U-19 World Cup, while Virat Kohli did.

On 28 April 2023, a post from ICC (an unofficial cricket Twitter handle @ICCAsia_) shows former Indian captain Virat Kohli and current Pakistani captain Babar Azam enjoying together in Faisalabad during the IND-U19 visit to Pakistan in 2006. 

The account that posted the video is not the official International Cricket Council (ICC) Twitter account but belongs to someone impersonating the organisation using the same name and logo. Twitter allows anyone to choose the main name that shows on their posts, but only their Twitter handle, which is shown less prominently, is unique. This can lead to confusion and deception among users who may not notice the difference. The official ICC account has the handle @ICC and a verified blue tick mark.

Fact or Fiction?

The video claims to show a historical moment of friendship between two rival cricket stars, Virat Kohli and Babar Azam. Babar Azam was born on 15 October 1994, which means he was only 12 years old in 2006 and could not have played in the U-19 World Cup. According to ESPNcricinfo, his first-class debut was on 31 May 2015 against Zimbabwe in Lahore. His under-19 debut was on 1 October 2009 against Zimbabwe in Harare.

Moreover, a reverse image search of a screenshot from the video revealed it is actually a video of Virat Kohli viral in India from the same tournament, which has been reported on many times by Indian websites, but there is no mention of Babar Azam being present in any of the articles. Scoopwhoop identifies the well-known players present in the video, including Cheteshwar Pujara and Piyush Chawla; they make no mention of Babar Azam or any Pakistan players being present.

Virality

This tweet was viewed 185,000 times and interacted with 3,741 times on Twitter.

We found that this clip was also shared on Instagram and Facebook here, here, here, here, here and here

Conclusion: The posts claiming to show Virat Kohli and Babar Azam together in Faisalabad during the 3006 U-19 World Cup in Pakistan are false, and Azam is not in them. Babar Azam was only 12 years old in 2006 and did not play in the competition.

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