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Indian tweeters turn on British Airways – Tendulkar row

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar

LONDON, Nov 13, (AFP): British Airways found itself under attack from fans of Sachin Tendulkar on Friday after the Indian cricket great complained on Twitter about the airline’s poor service.

Tendulkar, a national hero in cricket crazy India and the idol of millions of fans worldwide, accused British Airways of a “don’t care attitude” and said they had tagged his luggage to the wrong destination.

The airline responded by saying: “We’re sorry to hear this Sachin, could you please DM (direct message) us your baggage ref, full name and address so we can look into this for you?”

Although now retired from top-flight cricket, the 42-year-old Tendulkar who has recently been taking part in an exhibition tour in the United States, remains arguably the most famous of all living Indians. British Airways’ request for contact details led Twitter user Omar Abdullah to respond: “Dear @BritishAirways try Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, India. I’m sure this is enough for the postal service/courier company here”.

That was a mild comment in comparison to some calls for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to abandon his ongoing visit to Britain because of the offence given to Tendulkar.

The BBC subsequently reported that British Airways was the top trend on Twitter India, with politicians also weighing into the row. It is often said that famous sportsmen have ‘god-like’ status, particularly in their own countries.

But few come closer to that definition than batting great Tendulkar, who has had temples erected to him in India, the world’s second-most populous nation. Prayer ceremonies would often be held for him ahead of India matches that Tendulkar was playing in and his final appearance before retirement, in his home town of Mumbai in 2013.

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