Leading cricketers from Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings have been slammed for their "healthy waistlines" during the opening match of the Indian Premier League in Abu Dhabi.
Some players were returning to professional cricket for the first time in six months after global sport was put on hold amid the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The virus-delayed Twenty20 tournament was postponed and then moved to the United Arab Emirates, with India's cricket-crazy fans watching Chennai outplay Mumbai on Saturday on their televisions and mobile phones.
Many expressed surprise at seeing top players including Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma, batsman Saurabh Tiwary and Chennai spinner Piyush Chawla sporting a post-lockdown paunch.
"I have never played more than gully cricket but I am pretty shocked to see some players in the #IPL2020 looking so unfit," former India field hockey captain Viren Rasquinha wrote on Twitter.
I have never played more than gully cricket but I am pretty shocked to see some players in the #IPL2020 looking so unfit. I can’t think of another physical sport where players at the highest level could cope with these fitness levels.
— Viren Rasquinha (@virenrasquinha) September 19, 2020
"I can't think of another physical sport where players at the highest level could cope with these fitness levels."
Veteran commentator Harsha Bhogle tweeted that there were a "couple of healthy waistlines today".
Couple of healthy waistlines today.....
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 19, 2020
Social media users joked that the cash-rich IPL was now the "India Paunch League".
"Indian Paunch League (IPL) looking at all the bulging waistlines..looks like a veterans series match..," one user tweeted.
Meanwhile Chennai skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni stood out with his bulging biceps on his return to the cricket field after more than a year on the sidelines.
The veteran wicketkeeper-batsman, who retired from international cricket last month, last played for India in their semi-final loss to New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup.
Fans swooned at their idol's body, with one user tweeting: "Dhoni looks WWE ready".
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MS Dhoni is in the eye of the storm for his own as well as Chennai Super Kings' (CSK) below par show in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 so far.
After losing to RCB, CSK coach Stephen Fleming said despite Ambati Rayudu and debutant N Jagadeesan getting some runs, batting remains major a concern and seems to lack a little bit of confidence.
The comprehensive win over defending champions MI not only kept RR alive in the tournament, but it also eliminated CSK from the competition.