Pune: With Team India’s loss in the ICC Champions Trophy final against Pakistan, our national sport, hockey, gained a ton of fans on Sunday. Thousands of cricket fanatic Indians suddenly started expressing support to hockey as India beat Pakistan 7-1 in the Hockey World League semi-final.
While the entire country eagerly awaited the nail-biting cricket finale, not a large section of society was aware of the Hockey Super League semi-final between India and Pakistan. But after India’s so-called disappointing performance in the Champions Trophy final, many cricket enthusiasts started lauding the Indian hockey team for its outstanding performance.
Many people, who were unaware of who Srikanth Kidambi is or what sport he plays, suddenly started applauding his victory in Indonesia Open.
The print, as well as television media, displayed the lack of sportsmanship by only highlighting the Indian victory in hockey and badminton victory, while ignoring the fact that Pakistan did perform exceptionally well in the cricket final. Social media too was flooded with citizens uploading posts blaming or criticising the Indian team and the players for the loss adding that they are now hockey fans.
Some posts on the social media went into lengths demoralising and trolling the team rather than standing by them on the loss. Some posts stated: “India 7-1 Pakistan. #HeroHockeyWorldLeague. #semifinals Ek match toh jeet liya”, “#INDvPAK Cricket No need to CRY for losing a FIXED defeat (UKbetting) Cheer India for #HockeyWorldLeague2017 winning Vs Pak handsomely”, “RT if you think Dhoni captain hota toh match jeet jaate. #INDvPAK”, “#INDvPAK #IndVsPak #patriotism. Kudos for Cricket Team India to let the Indians know the importance of Hockey. #INDvPAK #YehHaiIndia #MondayMotivaton” and the likes.
Security had to be beefed up outside the residences of the players on Sunday evening in the light of India’s loss.
Speaking to Sakal Times, an avid cricket lover from the city, Siddharth Date said, “It seems like people just don’t understand the sport. It was a game and one team had to win and one had to lose. Why is it so difficult to accept that Pakistan was the better team and that Mohammed Amir bowled an excellent spell to take India’s three critical wickets. Despite the loss, Team India continues to remain one of the highest ranking teams in the ICC rankings and Virat Kohli the No 1 batsman in the world.”
He said, “If we had lost to England or Sri Lanka or any other team, people would have accepted the loss and moved on. But what mattered more to them was losing to Pakistan. In such a situation, I think these people should stop watching cricket.” Players had to take on the social media themselves stating that it was a loss and that we should move on