As England created a new world record by making the highest One-Day International (ODI) score in the recently concluded third match against Pakistan, posting a mammoth 444, Twitter went ablaze. In equal measure were tweets mocking Pakistan's bowlers and appreciating England's batsmen. Among the many tweets was one from British journalist Piers Morgan, who took the opportunity to reignite a running feud he'd been having with Virender Sehwag.
Morgan threw down the gauntlet to Sehwag, challenging the former Indian opener to donate one million rupees to charity if England can win the ODI world cup before India could win an Olympic medal.
Hi @virendersehwag, I bet you 1 million rupees to charity that England wins a ODI World Cup before India wins another Olympic Gold. Accept?
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 30, 2016
Sehwag, who back in his cricketing days was famous for hitting bowlers all over the park, has become a Twitter sensation in his retirement because of his funny one liners and banter. tweets and amazing birthday wishes. But while many Indian twitter users frantically refreshed their social media accounts, expecting him to shut Morgan up with a stunning reply, he never got the chance to do so! Another man named Virender Sehwag beat him to the spot, this tweet of his making the rounds of social media.
— Virender Sehwag (@VirenderrSehwag) August 30, 2016
Within seconds, the tweet went viral, with most people sharing and retweeting it without even pausing to check if it really was the real Virender Sehwag. To be fair, it really is quite difficult to differentiate between the original and fake accounts, especially considering they have similar handles and the same display pictures as well! While the verified account's handle is @, the fake account's username is @.
The fake account, with over four thousand followers, clearly mentions that it's just a fan account, but the fact that the tweet is still making the rounds on social media proves how easy it is for netizens to get confused.
Moreover, this is not the first time a parody account has been mistaken for the real deal on Twitter; there have been quite a few fake accounts of cricketers which people mistakenly thought to be real. Here are some of the more popular parody accounts of cricketers, which have their own cult followings on Twitter:
One of the earlier tweets from this account which went viral was this quirky dig at Shobha De, who questioned Indian athletes' performances at the Rio Olympics 2016.
— Virender Sehwag (@VirenderrSehwag) August 19, 2016
While, it's still a mystery as to how Ravindra Jadeja ended up with the sobriquet 'sir', there's a high chance this might have been the handle that started it all. This is the second fake account by this user, after his earlier account, with a following of over three lakh, was suspended by Twitter. This tweet of his, which was also sent out on Tuesday, was very popular, being retweeted some 34 times.
— Sir Ravindra Jadeja (@SirJadejaaaa) August 30, 2016
'India's greatest bowler ever. I don't just reverse swing the ball, I reverse swing the whole match,' says the bio of this parody account of Ishant Sharma. He posted this funny tweet after Stuart Binny was hit for five sixes in a single over by West Indian batsman Evin Lewis.
— Sir Ishant Sharma (@SirIshantSharma) August 27, 2016
@ is the handle of this parody account. The account is not the most active one on Twitter, but is still followed by over 9,000 people. He posted this tweet after India was knocked out of the 2015 Cricket World Cup by eventual champions Australia.
— Not David Warner (@notdavidwarner) March 26, 2015
The Pakistani cricketer Nasir Jamshed's fake account tweeted this after England defeated Pakistan by a huge margin in the 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge.
Is possible to lose ODI status? #ENGvPAK
— Big Nas (@NasirJamshed_) August 30, 2016