The Mirror was duped by a piece on The Dependent, a satirical Pakistani outlet, which ‘quoted’ Pakistan prime minister and former Test captain Imran Khan comparing his own leadership to Manchester United captain Harry Maguire.
The Dependent is the satirical arm of Pakistan Today, a Pakistani news publication, and the article, clearly labelled itself as “satire”. It quoted Khan as saying, “Be grateful that you have a World Cup-winning, all-time great, all-rounder leading you. 220 million Pakistanis with Imran Khan as their captain should think of the 660 million Manchester United fans who have Harry Maguire as their captain.”
Mirror took it seriously 😂 pic.twitter.com/Bi0nWnJKwS
— Troll Football (@TrollFootball) October 7, 2020
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Maguire’s performance in Manchester United’s 6-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur FC had come under scrutiny, prompting plenty of jokes. The Mirror then published a piece headlined “Pakistan Prime Minister takes baffling swipe at Man Utd captain Harry Maguire”, referencing the ‘quotes’. The article has since been deleted.
Khan is rated as one of cricket’s greatest all-rounders. He scored 3,807 Test runs at 37.69 and claimed 362 wickets at 22.81, and also famously led Pakistan to the 1992 World Cup title.