The latest to join the chorus of criticism of advertisements produced by Star Sports to promote their coverage of India vs Pakistan match in the ICC 2019 World Cup on June 16 is the chief of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ehsan Mani. In a statement that takes potshot at the official broadcasters, Mani criticised the sports network for its parochial vision in crafting advertisements and asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to intervene in the matter.
"I think this is for the ICC to take note. Star is the host broadcaster. They are not an Indian broadcaster, they are the broadcaster of the ICC. They should be fair to all teams. That (the teasers) is not part of cricket," the PCB head remarked.
This is not the first time that Star Sports has generated controversy with its promotional campaign. During the last World Cup, while the 'mauka mauka' ads were a big hit in India, some people had suggested that they were somewhat offensive to the Pakistanis.
Before the India-Bangladesh series after the World Cup, the channel again ran an ad campaign that became controversial. The 'bachche ab bachche nahin rahe' ads , talking about the Bangladesh team recieved an angry response from the fans of the latter team.
Now, in 2019, another controversy has arisen and with political relations between the two countries not in the best of shape, the ads may further sour an already tumultuous relationship. As has been mentioned previously, Star Sports doesn't have a great recored when it comes to making ads. They are usually over-the-top in their dramatization and hark more on the sentimental aspect rather than the inherent beauty of the sports.
But Star isn't the only company that is, according to some people, crossing the line. Already, Sania Mirza, Indian tennis player and wife of Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik has expressed her disapproval of the kind of advertisements being aired on both sides of the border to promote the TV coverage of the match. Let's see if ICC does something about it.