Open Letter to the Indian Cricket Fan

Dear Indian Cricket Fan,

I have a few things to tell you. You may not agree with many of the things, in fact, you may not agree with all the things I am about to say. However, I would appreciate that you read what I have got to tell you.

Many years ago, I was one like you. Blame it on the hormones. I used to hate every player who hit runs against India. I used to curse every player who were in the team just to fill up the spots. I used to switch off the TV, the very moment Sachin got out and curse the other batsmen who couldn’t score even 50% of what the great man scored. I didn’t care about other teams or matches. I was of the opinion that the houses of these cricketers should be brought down. I was a kid back then. For me, there was only one team capable of winning every tournament and there was only one team that could throw it away. That was team India.

I used to brand those who predicted against an Indian win as traitors.

Then, I started realizing that any sport is not about one team. It is about competing. The better team on the day won. The team you supported cannot be the better team all the time. And in times like that, you have to appreciate the opposition for being a level or two higher up than the team you are supporting. This especially holds true when the opponents win in a graceful manner. We had to be graceful in defeat. We think about bringing down their houses. I would like you to take a moment to think from a different angle. You have a sleepless night before a big match. Imagine what must be going through the mind of a cricketer who is representing the country. A country of a billion people. Imagine the pressure. It is the pressure cooker situation. It is highly possible that they implode in such a situation. And we are to blame for keeping our expectations so high on them. Of course, they are paid to represent the team, but any amount of money cannot compensate what they end up going through on the eve of an international match.

And you also bad mouth the team that won. They got lucky, you say. You cannot stand the fact that your favourite team lost. There is very few of the tribe left which can appreciate the opposition if they put up a good show. I hear from my dad all the time about the mighty West Indians and the Australians. Their legendary status meant that the victories of the Indian team against them tasted a little more sweeter at that time. When you appreciate the capability of your rivals, you appreciate the capability of your team even more. There is a hashtag on twitter which goes, #knowledgeableChennaiCrowd. Though this might be about ridiculing them, the tribe I mentioned a few lines earlier exists in that city. They were gracious enough to applaud a team which won even when a colossus stood between them and victory with an injured back.

I don’t mind you being ungracious in defeat as much as you being ungracious in victory. What was the booing of a 3 time world cup winner(never mind that he also lost 3 Ashes series as captain) when he put up a brave face after a defeat all about? What was the SMS talking about never ever letting the cricketers from the same country as a certain terrorist (he is enjoying his stay in an Indian Prison, but I do not want to talk about that) all about? What are all those photoshopped pictures of Indian cricketers beating the opposition players about? What are all those photos ridiculing their religious beliefs about? What happened to the respect we are supposed to have? Is that also reserved only for the proses that talk about them?

I have only these bits of advice for you. Love your team. Respect the team your team is playing against. Importantly, please be gracious in victory.

Thanks for listening.

Yours Faithfully

An anti-BCCI Indian cricket fan and a cricket lover

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About milcom
A software developer by profession, Milcom is a football lover and considers music as his religion. While he is not working, he likes reading blogs, listening to music, reading novels or simply sitting idle, in which he is a world champion.

9 Responses to Open Letter to the Indian Cricket Fan

  1. sumanth cidambi says:

    Hi, I came across this from a post on FB. I do not know who you are or what your name is. I liked reading this article in entirety. Respecting the other players in any sport, team or opposition, is something I learnt as a child.

    I do not play any team sports anymore though I run long distances severally. In such runs, one always looks out for other runners, irrespective of whether it may cost a few more minutes to the finish.

    Thank you for reinforcing that simple message within me.

    Best
    Sumanth

    • milcom says:

      Thanks for dropping by.

      If I could reinforce/get the message across to at least one person, my purpose would have been served. And I think it has already been. πŸ™‚

  2. Blaqmamba says:

    I aint a big cricket fan though i do catch up wid cricket every now and then. either way, luvly article and even better spirit. thank you for putting out this positive view out there, someone needed to say it n say it out loud i say!

    p.s. :duznt puttin ‘blaqmamba’ feel nosralgic? “)

  3. qtfan says:

    Excellent post. I was struck by it’s honesty and integrity. Have we become so jingoistic that we fail to appreciate genius if it is not from India? The aggressiveness of such ‘fans’ is sure to drive sensible people away from cricket. That would be a travesty.

    • milcom says:

      I am surprised that we find it hard to appreciate geniuses not from India.

      That has been evident whenever India plays in India. We see the opposition getting applauded, more often than not, only when we know for sure that their valiant effort is not going to stand between a victory and the Indian team. There are a few noted exceptions of course. Does it hurt to applaud a good performance by an opponent? I am not saying that we all must make the same noise and cheer for them as when our team is playing.

      It would be a travesty indeed if we drive people away from the game. And importantly, take the romance away from it.

  4. Subarna says:

    Brilliantly written..
    “Fans” need to be graceful enough even while watching their home country lose to a superior team.
    No international sport can survive unless players are equally appreciated at all places. Its more than a career to these players, we ought to respect them for that.

    Maybe the media (print, social et al) need to be a lot more responsible while reporting the events. It’s understandable that cricket is more than a sport in this country, but there’s an extent to which one can cash in on it.. The hype created before the India-Pak match on the Indian news channels was unbelievable..almost silly. Honestly, I feel its the media which promotes the jingoism to such high levels..

    -Subarna

  5. gypsyontherocks says:

    well said

    edge of a knife !!

    such people and mediocre-ness of cricket made me lose my interest..

    but i really had to be careful while saying pakistan might win (which at one point of time was possible)

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