NEW DELHI: Sachin Tendulkar found himself at the centre of another controversy following a report by a television channel that he had cut a cake in the colours of the national flag during the Indian team's stay in the West Indies last month.
A TV channel showed a photograph of Tendulkar with a knife about to cut the cake in the presence of Indian High Commissioner to Jamaica K L Agrawal.
Reacting to the television report, the Cricket Board said the incident should not be blown out of proportion as Tendulkar was a person who would never show any disrespect to the national flag.
"Tendulkar has spoken to me. He says that the function was organised by the India High Commission and with so many people around he did not realise the colour of the cake when he was suddenly asked to cut it," BCCI Vice President Rajeev Shukla said.
Shukla said that Tendulkar could not be held responsible as it was a function organised by the Indian High Commission.
"The High Commission should have taken care of these things".
"Tendulkar will not do such a thing intentionally. He respects the national flag and had even sought permission to use the tricolour on his helmet. If an explanation is sought, it should be sought from the Indian High Commission", Shukla said.
The Union Minister of State for Home, Sriprakash Jaiswal said that in all probability it was unintentional.
"The person who made the cake should be held responsible for this," he said.
Tendulkar has already been slapped with notices by the BCCI for talking to the media on former coach Greg Chappell in the wake of India's disastrous World Cup campaign.
Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh were pulled up by the Board's Working Committee for commenting on Chappell as this was in violation of the BCCI's Code of Conduct for its cricketers.
The star batsman was recently quoted as saying that he was deeply hurt by Chappell's questioning of the senior players' attitude.
Fans set afire posters in Indore
Fans of Sachin set on fire his posters to protest his action of reportedly cutting a cake with the national flag on it.
The fans led by one Tantoo Sharma and others beat Tendulkar's posters with a bat and later set them on fire at the GPO Square.
Sharma demanded an apology from Tendulkar for his reported act, especially in view of the fact that the cricketer has great regard for his country.
Meanwhile, Tiranga Abhiyan (NGO) convenor and Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Ravi Atrolia demanded unconditional apology from Tendulkar for allegedly disrespecting the national flag.
He said that though Tendulkar might have done it unknowingly, but it is a crime under section 2 of the prevention of insult to national honour act of 1971.
Atrolia said that if he failed to tender an apology then his organisation will be forced to take legal course as it has done in the past against various film personalities.
Bhartiya Janshakti Party leader Rajesh Bidkar also issued a legal notice to Tendulkar for allegedly insulting the national flag in Jamaica.
Bidkar demanded an unconditional apology from Tendulkar for reportedly insulting the national tricolour, failing which he would file a civil suit in court.