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Exploring Dark Side Of Cricket Fandom- From Targeting Family Members To Burning Effigies

When India lost against Bangladesh in the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup, news of stone pelting on players' homes was reported from all across the country.

Cricket News
| Written By
Vishal Tiwari
Indian cricket fans

Image: PTI

Indian cricket fans are renowned for their unrivaled passion, making them one of the most fervent fan bases across all sports worldwide. Whenever the Indian cricket team embarks on a tour, fans from all corners of the globe converge to lend their unwavering support to the Men in Blue. Nevertheless, there are instances when this passion spills over into irrationality, leading some individuals to engage in regrettable actions.

In a recent unfortunate incident, purported Indian cricket fans, claiming allegiance to Virat Kohli, allegedly resorted to online abuse directed at Shubman Gill and his family. The incident occurred following Gill's exceptional century, which quashed Royal Challengers Bangalore's aspirations of qualifying for the IPL 2023 playoffs. Earlier in the same match, Kohli himself had scored a century, playing a pivotal role in helping RCB post a competitive total on the scoreboard.

Also Read: 'You Get What You Deserve': After Rinku Singh's Heroics, Netizens Troll Naveen-ul-Haq

Stone pelting on players' home

When India lost against Bangladesh in the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup, news of stone pelting on players' homes was reported from all across the country. Stones were thrown at Indian cricketers' homes and effigies were burnt. Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was among the players whose home was targetted by unruly fans. Fans have also thrown stones at former India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar's home in Mumbai. The incident occurred after reports emerged suggesting that some Indian players were involved in match-fixing and other illicit activities. 

Online abuse of players & family members

Apart from the recent incident involving Shubman Gill, there have been several instances where players and their family members have been trolled and abused on social media. Mohammed Shami was targetted by trolls after India lost a match against arch-rivals Pakistan in the 2021 T20 World Cup. Kohli's daughter Vamika was also not spared by ultra fans of the Indian team. 

Recently, former India opener Gautam Gambhir and Afghanistan pacer Naveen-ul-Haq were targetted by fans after they got involved in a verbal altercation with Kohli. 

Disruption of public order

One of the most memorable incidents took place during the 1996 World Cup semifinal in Kolkata. During that time, the crowd's fury at Eden Gardens stemmed from their intense disappointment at witnessing their team's unexpected defeat. As a result, various objects were hurled onto the ground and some individuals even resorted to burning newspapers, creating a chaotic atmosphere in the stadium.

Also Read: 'This Is How You PLAY BOLD': Lucknow Super Giants Troll RCB After Winning IPL Thriller

Indian batsman KL Rahul recently opened up on the amount of trolling he has received over the past several years. Appearing on The Ranveer Show, Rahul said it sometimes affects him and his teammates especially when they truly need support from their fans. Rahul's wife Athiya Shetty has also been the victim of trolls. 

“That's something that sometimes affects me and affects a lot of the other boys as well that when we athletes truly need support, people feel they can or have the power to comment or say what they want. Just see what that person is going through. None of us wants to perform badly. This is our life. This is all we do. Like I said, I don't know anything else apart from cricket,” Rahul said.

"There are people who stand up and support the players which is good but something I personally try to do is to stay away from both. That is I mean you have to, I do feel like sometimes you do want to listen to people saying good things about you, but you also realize that, if you get sucked into that and then be ready to face the other side,” he added.

Image: PTI

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