India lost to New Zealand by 8 wickets last night in the T20 World Cup. Given that the match was practically a do or die affair, this loss essentially crashes Virat Kohli's team out of the tournament. The team's performance was abysmal to the point where even the captain admitted that the team wasn't simply brave enough.
It was a bad day for Indian cricket and it hurts. As a fan of the Indian team, this really really hurts. But have you ever thought about why it bothers us so much? Maybe, and consider this spitballing, but maybe it's because over the last few years, bad days in Indian cricket have been extremely rare.
Not so long ago, we were worshipping the same team for wreaking havoc against an Australian team in Australia and finishing the series by conquering the impregnable Gabba.
Yet, within minutes of last night's loss, about 80% of Twitter wanted to have the authorities distribute Wanted posters with Virat Kohli's face on it. For the sake of a civilised conversation, this is the only sentence in the article that will mention the vile and pathetic vitriol the team has had to suffer over the period of a week since the Pakistan game.
It's a sport, guys. We win some, we lose some. Lately, we have won a lot more than we have lost. So, what I fail to grasp is this near-violent reaction to a couple of losses.
Sure, these losses came during the World Cup and it pains us a lot given that our team was one of the favourites walking into the tournament. It's understandable. But surely, we must realise that this hurts the players a lot more than it hurts us.
As an Indian cricket fan, you have every right to be hurt. Dil toota Na?— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) November 1, 2021
Now multiply that hurt by 100 and that’s how the members of the Indian team feel when they lose…
They don’t need our/your sympathy but a little bit of empathy won’t be a bad thing.
We watched it on our TVs. They were there. These men have worked for years, to be here, to be a part of a cricket team that takes immense pride in representing this country and bringing us joy.
For some of these players, this was their first ICC tournament. They have dedicated their whole lives, sacrificed more than most of us could possibly fathom. They have had countless broken bones and sprains and spasms, not to mention that mental aspect of living up to the hype created by 1.5 billion people, and as many TV channels.
No one is asking anyone to not criticise them. We must. They are accountable to us. We pay to watch them. They make millions because of us. All of that is fair. But these people are still humans trying to do their absolut best.
Let's be honest, if you had a fraction of the wealth any member of that team has accumulated over the years, you would be living in a palace, showing the bird to anyone who dared to ask you to work. But not these men. They go to work every day, giving up the time they could have spent with their families to play for us, to represent our colours at every step of the way.
So, why are being so harsh, vile even, spewing vitriol on our own players when they need us the most? They have had a couple of bad days at work.
I can't speak of every person in the country, but I imagine the last thing you want after a demoralising day at work to be followed by the very people you work for, telling you that you are worthless. So, just stop. Humans have evolved to show empathy towards fellow humans. So let's put Darwinism to good use and not be dicks.