Steve Smith statue at Wankhede, Mumbai.
The statue at Wankhede Stadium is Sachin Tendulkar, not Steve Smith.
During the ongoing ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India, numerous social media users are sharing images of a cricket player’s statue, claiming it to show the statue of renowned Australian cricketer Steve Smith placed at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. Many even claimed that cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar had the honor of unveiling the statue. Users who shared the post wrote “Steve Smith statue at Wankhede, Mumbai. Modern great of test Cricket.”
One such post can be viewed by clicking here.
Fact Check / Verification
In order to ascertain the fact of the viral post and the image, we conducted a Google keyword search with “Statue at Wankhede”. During this process, we came across several reports which carried the viral image.
One such article by The Economic Times published on November 02, 2023 revealed that the image is Wankhede itself, but not Australia’s one of the greatest batter Steve Smith. According to this report, on November 1 this year, Sachin Tendulkar, the god of cricket, unveiled his own statue in Wankhede.
After this, we have scanned the social media posts and found that many users were taking the post to be true at the comments on the particular social media post. While people are posting it and commenting on it initially started as a joke. Netizens initially felt it resembles Steve Smith more than Sachin Tendulkar.
To verify the authenticity of the viral post and the associated image, we conducted a Google keyword search using the term “Statue at Wankhede.”
During our investigation, we came across various reports that featured the viral image. A report by The Economic Times, published on November 2, 2023, clarified that the statue in the image is indeed located at Wankhede Stadium. However, it was not a representation of Australian cricketer Steve Smith. According to this report, on November 1, 2023, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, often referred to as the “God of Cricket,” unveiled a statue of himself at Wankhede Stadium.
Further, a keyword search took us to ICC’s official X handle on November 1, 2023, which posted four photos from the inauguration, with the caption, “Unveiled! Sachin Tendulkar inaugurates his statue at the Wankhede Stadium!”
After a detailed examination of the official BCCI channels and website, we found a November 1 post honoring the veteran BCCI cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. In addition, a video on the BCCI website showed Sachin Tendulkar unveiling his statue at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
We also saw a post on Sachin Tendulkar’s X handle on November 1 carrying a similar photograph, where he wrote a note expressing gratitude for installing his statue, ” This photo has a very special place in my heart. From being a 10-year-old boy who was sneaked into the North Stand with only 24 tickets for 25 eager fans, to having my statue unveiled at the iconic Wankhede, life has truly come full circle. I still remember our joyous chants, the camaraderie of that group, and the overwhelming support of the @NorthStandGang over the years. To think that I first stepped foot in Wankhede as a fan, then went on to be the ball boy in the ’87 World Cup, lifted the 2011 World Cup, and played my last international game here – it is a journey words can’t capture. This statue isn’t just mine. It is a dedication to every non-striker, my cricket heroes, every teammate, every colleague, who stood by my side, for without them, this journey wouldn’t have been possible. Wankhede, and cricket, you’ve been very kind.”
We also came across the articles on Fox Cricket and Outlook, which highlighted that the comments on social media platform indicated that the statue ‘looked more like Steve Smith more than Sachin Tendulkar’, indicating that the whole trend started off as a joke, which lost context and was shared as authentic.
Thus, our investigation proves that the statue unveiled at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai is dedicated to Sachin Tendulkar, and not to the Australian cricketer Steve Smith. Therefore, the claims made in the viral social media posts are confirmed to be False.
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