India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been slammed by the public for comparing Chennai Super Kings' return to the Indian Premier League (IPL) to Manchester United's recovery from the tragic air crash in Munich in 1958, in which 23 people including eight of their players died.
IPL franchises Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals will be back in action next year after serving a two-year ban over a scandal that involved illegal betting on matches.
Ashwin, who featured for the Super Kings between 2009-15, welcomed the end of the ban by drawing a comparison between the two incidents.
"I think the two-year hiatus for CSK probably increases its value much like what it did for Manchester United when the air crash happened," Ashwin told the Times of India. "I don't know if it's in the same league but surely people in Chennai and fans across the world are waiting for CSK to return. I hope it turns out to be a good comeback."
The comparison drew instant ire from the public, who took to social media to hit out at the spinner for his comments.
The 30-year-old then tweeted out clarification over his analogy.
On February 6, 1958, the Manchester United squad had been returning home from a European Cup tie in Belgrade when their British European Airways flight crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway at Munich airport, killing 20 passengers at the scene while three more died later.