On Saturday evening, joined the flag-lowering ceremony from the Pakistani side amid drill which is performed by armed forces of India and Pakistan at Attari-Wagah border daily. He entered the drill and showed his signature wicket-taking gesture towards the BSF (Border Security Force) and the audience from the Indian side.
As per the protocol of both the countries, only the BSF on the Indian side and Rangers on the Pakistani side can conduct the ceremony. Taking part of the cricketer in the drill has been noted strongly by the BSF.
BSF Inspector General (Punjab Frontier) Mukul Goel told The Sunday Express, “The act has hit the sanctity of the parade. We will lodge a protest with Pakistan Rangers.”
Inspector added, “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.”
DIG R S Kataria and a BSF spokesperson said, “I am on leave. I have inquired into it. A BSF officer at Attari has told me that the national cricket team of Pakistan had come to witness the ceremony at Wagah. One of the cricketers from their team started making provocative gestures during the drill. It happened on the Pakistani side. Pakistani officers later made that player sit. Since it is a drill of forces of two countries, BSF is lodging protest with Pakistan Rangers.”
However, two BSF officers declined to remark on the issue at Atari, saying they were “not authorized to speak to the media”.
In a video that became famous online, the cricketer is seen advancing into the middle of the service as Rangers look on. During the drill, Ali who is a medium pace bowler was patting on his thigh, raising arms like Rangers and celebrating similarly as he does in the wake of taking a wicket before a man in regular citizen garments in the midst of adulation from Pakistani group of onlookers. Ali’s demonstration traverses about 40 seconds.
Pakistani cricket team visited Wagah on Saturday. The pictures of the team including Ali wearing a red cap circulated on the internet by the official Twitter handle of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
With pictures, PCB also retweeted: “Mera dost @RealHa55an entertaining everyone at Wahga border. He really does know how to engage the crowd.”
The Pakistan newspaper Dawn also uploaded a video titled ‘Hasan Ali gatecrashed the flag lowering ceremony at the Wagah Border to hype up the crowd with his trademark wicket celebration’ on its Facebook page which garnered nearly 12,000 ‘likes’, 2,000 comments, 9,800 shares and 22,5000 views till Saturday evening.