Yash Dayal, the Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat Titans fast bowler, has distanced himself* from a social-media post containing an Islamophobic cartoon, saying both that post and a subsequent apology "weren't done by me".
The original Instagram post was removed, but not before screenshots were shared and debated widely on social-media. Not long after, the handle posted: "Guy's [sic] apologies for the story it was just posted by mistake plz don't spread hate … I have respect for each & every community n society".
He later said in a statement, "There were two stories posted on my Insta handle today - both of which weren't done by me. I have reported the matter to authorities as I believe my account is being accessed by someone else and used for posting. I am trying to regain full control of my Instagram account. I respect all communities and the picture shared today does not reveal my true beliefs."
Dayal, 26, has been playing representative cricket since 2018, when he made his senior debut for Uttar Pradesh, but became a household name for not-very-happy reasons on April 9 this year when, in a game in Ahmedabad, Kolkata Knight Riders' Rinku Singh hit him for five consecutive sixes off the last five balls of the match to chase down an improbable target.
He didn't turn out for Titans for over a month after that, but played two more games as Titans made the tournament final, which they lost to Chennai Super Kings. Dayal had a forgettable season overall, picking up two wickets from five matches at an economy rate of 11.78.
Bought by Titans before IPL 2022, Dayal played nine games in the team's run to the title in what was their debut season, picking up 11 wickets and maintaining an economy rate of 9.25.
* The article was updated at 11.30am GMT on Monday following Yash Dayal's statement