Pakistani broadcaster Zainab Abbas, who was part of the ICC digital team covering the ODI World Cup, departed India on Monday after receiving a reaction on social media for suspected anti-India posts in the past. Still, the sport’s governing body said she left for personal reasons.

Zainab left India from Hyderabad, where she had been assigned to cover Pakistan’s three World Cup games. On October 6, she attended Pakistan’s World Cup opening against the Netherlands at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.

Relations between India and Pakistan are strained; the neighbors have fought three wars since gaining independence in 1947. On Saturday, the two countries will play a one-day encounter in the western city of Ahmedabad.

Abbas, a sports writer and commentator since 2015, is the first female sports reporter and commentator to cover the cricket World Cup from Pakistan in 2019.

According to the Press Trust of India, she landed in India last week and covered Pakistan’s World Cup opener against the Netherlands on October 6 in Hyderabad. She was scheduled to go to Bengaluru, Chennai, and Ahmedabad for the rest of Pakistan’s matches.

However, after a lawyer in the capital of Delhi filed a police case against her last week for allegedly old tweets, she received a massive response on social media.

According to Advocate Vineet Jindal’s suit, Abbas had an unofficial account on X (previously Twitter) where she wrote “derogatory and provocative posts” criticizing India and the Hindu religion.

According to the screenshots, these posts stretch back several years, but they are no longer visible on the social media platform.

Mr Jindal’s lawsuit also highlighted a tweet from Abbas’s official X account in which she tweeted on the right of Kashmiris to self-determination. The Himalayan region is divided between India and Pakistan, claiming complete ownership.

On X, Mr. Jindal also published a letter he wrote over the weekend to Home Minister Amit Shah and his son Jay Shah, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), India’s governing body, requesting that the analyst be removed as an ICC presenter.

Several Indian users posted screenshots of postings linked to her unverified account and chastised Abbas, causing her name to trend on X on Tuesday.

Her name has also been among the top topics on X in Pakistan, although many people have defended her and questioned the truth of the posts uploaded in her name.

Pakistani writer Rizwan Ghilzai said Abbas has a “safe exit” from India. “She has been facing threats in India over her social media posts,” he wrote in a post on X. “Sad that @ICC couldn’t protect its presenter.”


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