No sooner India’s wickets were toppling down than our breathing was getting heavy, clenching of teeth became tighter and the expectations got shattered. As India’s condition was deteriorating, the atmosphere in many homes grew somber accompanied by unnecessary snorting. We had news anchors preparing their own hitlist, lambasting the Indian players and presenting their own ‘reasons for loss’ which, most of the times, are baseless & undoubtedly absurd. This outrage did not confine itself till here, but, within no time, sprawled across the social media whilst the defeated Indian Team was harshly trolled, criticised and in some posts, disrespected too.
The only question that continues to nag at the back of my mind, which I haven’t found an answer to, is what makes India-Pakistan matches so tense & tight? Perhaps, it’s the plethora of investment of emotions and nationalism that we put in. An India-Pakistan match always seems to lose sportsmanship as we transform it into a global platform to demonstrate our power and take revenge for all the detestable past events and for causing diplomatic tension. Can’t we put patriotism, which is in overabundance, and envy aside in a cricket match?
What makes Indian Team’s performance in the final untenable is not their own performance, but the way people are reacting to Indian Team’s defeat! Why can’t we stop mentally traumatizing the Indian players? Maybe because we have innately established in us and are establishing in our kids’ minds that the only thing acceptable against Pakistan is nothing less than a win over it. We criticise the Indian players to an extent whose outcome is players getting tormented in their heads. We barely ponder upon the fact that we knowingly or unknowingly make them sink into melancholy. How many of us can actually bear the agonizing pain that a player goes through on being lampooned and disrespected by way of memes, tweets and posts on social media, on witnessing the ruckus caused by a mob surrounding his house, on making his way from the airport through a crowd shouting swear words, on learning that every news channel and newspaper is breaking nothing, but speaking ill of him, on seeing effigies of him being set on fire, on not feeling a firm grasp of a helping hand on his shoulder? So what they fumbled catches, couldn’t make it to the crease on time, didn’t time their shots well, struggled to bowl at a good and an immaculate length, bowled huge wide and no balls, and conceded exorbitant runs?
The pain caused by India’s defeat, that we’re going through, will fade away in a few days, but the mental health and spirits of the players will take a long time to get back to normal. How beautiful it would be if instead of studying the dark side and crying over irrevocable defeat, we all take a plunge into rationality, start appreciating the players’ efforts & dedication, and keep the true spirits of sports alive!