close
Advertisement

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
June 24, 2021

Sarim Akhtar happy his meme brought happiness to millions

LONDON: British Pakistani meme star Sarim Akhtar says he’s looking forward to the Pakistan national team’s visit to the UK to play T20 and one-day matches against England next month but hopes the team will not break the hearts of its followers like his was when his disappointed look went viral.

Akhtar’s picture from Pakistan-Australia match in the 2019 World Cup birthed one of the greatest memes of all time. Akhtar expressed his profound disappointment when Asif Ali dropped David Warner’s catch off a Wahab Riaz delivery. At the time, Akhtar had no idea he had broken the internet and while he was on his seat in the stadium, the media approached him with interview requests.

Speaking to The News near his home in North London, where he lives with his wife and two children, , Akhtar advised the Pakistani team that “ghabrana nahi hai” as “the worst that can happen to you is to lose the game but please put up a fight till the end and show discipline”. Akhtar said it was a pleasant surprise for him that on 12 June this year the ICC tweeted his meme again, thus injecting a new fervour into his meme. “My meme gets shared every day and for all occasions but for the ICC to tweet it was quite a big thing and that unleashed a new wave of memes.”

Akhtar, who works as an auditor for a multinational company near London Bridge, is proud that his meme brings smiles to faces every day. “People message me and thank me for that meme. I get feedback every day from all over the world and the best feedback is that people use my meme in daily life, for enjoyment, on family occasions, to show love and disappointment, on key chains, on social media and in real life — all the time. I am so happy that the world is using it.”

Akhtar shared that his favourite meme is the one which was edited, showing him from behind his head in a washroom and returning to the stadium within minutes showing that almost half of the batting line up has collapsed in a matter of few minutes.

On the team, he commented: “In my opinion, Shadab and Hassan are the two players I really like, they have a lot of game sense. They show aggression and deliver and they can make us successful. I will be attending the matches with my friends.”

Akhtar says he had driven from London to Taunton for three hours one way and he was particularly unhappy on that fateful day that his effort had gone into the waste as Pakistan lost the crucial match. “My family and friends joke that I took the look of anger and disappointment from my home that day and showed the same to the whole world. I don’t disagree with that,” he says jokingly.