New Delhi: Pakistani cricketer Hassan Ali’s bizarre antics at the Attari-Wagah border during the traditional flag-lowering ceremony have not gone down well with India’s Border Security Force (BSF), which has decided to lodge a formal protest with the Pakistani Rangers.
In a video that has now gone viral, Ali, known for his on-field eccentric celebrations, can be seen walking up to the Pakistani soldier in the middle of the ceremony. He then imitates the Ranger, pats his thigh and raises his arm, before replicating his signature celebratory move, all the while gesturing to the Indian soldiers and spectators on the other side. A man, also in civilian clothes, walks up to Ali and takes him back.
Hasan Ali being Hasan Ali during the flag-lowering ceremony at the Wagah border pic.twitter.com/sQuiwthVLb— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) April 21, 2018
The Pakistani Rangers are not seen objecting to the cricketer’s 40-second antics in the middle of the ceremony, which has to be performed only by soldiers.
“The act has hit the sanctity of the parade. We will lodge a protest with Pakistan Rangers. Anyone can make any aggressive gesture in the viewers’ gallery on both sides but no public person can interfere in the parade. Before or after the parade, the people are free to do such things, but not in the middle of the parade,” The Indian Express quoted BSF Inspector General (Punjab Frontier) Mukul Goel as saying.
Ali was part of the Pakistani cricket team which visited the Attari-Wagah border on Saturday to view the flag-lowering ceremony, considered to be the highlight of the day.
Pakistan Test team visit Wagah border for the flag lowering ceremony pic.twitter.com/nxhYWtknpr— PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) April 21, 2018
Civilians are from both sides throng the spectators’ gallery to view the event, which sees high emotions and loud slogan-chanting.