New Delhi - Cricket's world governing body apologised
Wednesday after leaving a sarcastic remark on a video showing Prime Minister
Narendra Modi sharing a stage with an Indian guru convicted of raping a teenage
The International Cricket Council went into damage control
after its Twitter account posted the Hindu prayer "Narayan, Narayan"
(Oh Lord, Oh Lord) beneath a video of Modi standing with Asaram Bapu.
Asaram, one of India's self-styled spiritual gurus who
commands a following of millions, was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday
for raping a teenage devotee in 2013.
Images of Modi and the controversial spiritual leader have
resurfaced since Asaram's conviction.
Photos of the pair distributed by the main opposition
Congress party have drawn angry outbursts from the prime minister's ruling
Bharatiya Janata Party.
The ICC post was quickly deleted and a hasty mea culpa
issued from the cricket body.
"ICC is dismayed at a non-cricket related tweet
appearing on its Twitter feed earlier today," the sport's governing body
wrote on its official Twitter handle.
"We would like to extend our sincere apologies to
anyone who was offended during the short space of time it was up. We have
launched an investigation into how this happened."
But the gaffe was detected by some of the ICC's eight
million Twitter followers, who took umbrage with sporting body wading into the
"ICC Trolling Modi and Asaram. How Anti National is
this ICC," wrote one Twitter user.
Another, Piyush Kulshreshtha, posted: "This is
scandalous. ICC has to be shaken."
Asaram, 77, who leads hundreds of ashrams in India and
overseas, was convicted for life for raping a girl on the pretext of ridding
her of evil spirits.
His website boasts of many high-profile believers and
admirers, including Modi and previous prime ministers.