A picture of Swamy Vivekananda has recently gone viral on social media showing him in action while bowling a cricket ball in what looks like a domestic league cricket match. The photo claims that Swamiji played for the Calcutta Town Club in 1884.
Many people have shared this post on Facebook and those posts have gotten many likes and made the post go viral. Here are some screenshots of the said post.
Similar posts have also gone viral on Twitter, as can be seen below.
Archived Tweets can bee seen here and here.
Fact check / Verification
To verify the claim we started with a Google keyword search to find out if Swamy Vivekananda had played cricket in 1884 on behalf of the Calcutta Town Club. Our search revealed that in 1880, there was a match between Calcutta Cricket Club and Town Club in which Narendranath Dutt took six wickets. And this Narendra Nath was none other than the world famous Swamiji.
We also found out that Swamiji was an ardent football fan and played the game well. He took part in both cricket and football matches, and also encouraged his friends to take part in the sport.
A report published during this period, before Swamiji’s birth anniversary in 2013, states that the club with which he used to play football and cricket at a time when Swamy Vivekananda’s birthday was being celebrated in the state was neglected. Although there is no detailed evidence, there is some evidence in Shankari Basu’s ‘Sahasya Vivekananda’ which points towards Swamiji’s relationship with sports.
Newschecker proceeded to conduct a reverse image search to find out if the picture of Swamiji which went viral on social media is in fact authentic. We found links of Getty Images and Cricket Country from where the picture was taken, although the image does not show Swamiji but rather the famous England bowler Hedley Verity. Verity played for England and Yorkshire from 1930 to 1939.
Headley was known as a slow left-arm bowler in the archives of Variety Cricket. He fought not only on the cricket field, but also against Germany in 1943, and died in Sicily.
Newschecker also debunked the claim in Bangla, you can read our fact-check here.
Our observations show that the image that went viral on social media claiming to show Swamy Vivekananda playing on behalf of the Calcutta Town Club in 1884, was in fact an edited image of the England and Yorkshire left-arm bowler Headley Variety.
Result- Fabricated Content
Written by- Vaibhav Bhujang
If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044 or email us at [email protected]. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form.