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England v India

English cricket Twitter spirals after ‘fake news’ ECB media release goes viral

ECB media release
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

A hoax ECB media release that details a change in itinerary for India’s upcoming tour to England to accommodate the remainder of IPL 2021 is doing the rounds on Twitter, deceiving those who mistook it for an official ECB statement.

On May 21, an article in The Times reported that BCCI had enquired about the possibility of shifting the final Test between England and India to “accommodate the IPL”, which was suspended indefinitely this month following Covid-19 cases in the tournament.

A fake media release, bearing the ECB logo and colours, emerged on social media soon after, gaining considerable traction on Twitter. It revealed the details of the so-called “official request” from the BCCI for an amendment to the planned schedule for the 2021 Test series.

The statement, fraught with inconsistencies in text and context, claimed that ECB would host “the remainder of  VIVO IPL during September”, with the fifth Test in Manchester rescheduled to begin on October 7 after the IPL final.

The Test is scheduled to begin on September 10.

“The ECB will offer all affected Test ticket holders who are unable to attend the amended fixture vouchers for the full face value of all tickets,” read the fake statement. “These vouchers may be redeemed for tickets or merchandise at any ECB store, including TheHundred.com.”

Danny Frankland, who runs Outside Cricket, claimed credit for creating the graphic.

The statement was also tweeted, seemingly credulously, by Sir Fred Boycott.

The fake release created enough flutters on English cricket Twitter. Some users saw through the humour, pointing out the incredulous claims such as ECB’s “voucher”, and the decision to hold a Test in October in Manchester, but plenty were sucked in, and there was some criticism for the satire not being clear enough.

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