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Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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EditorialCricket is gentleman's game

Cricket is gentleman’s game

Cricket brings out the best and worst in people. Spectators in the stadium and in front of television screens have extremely heightened emotions which sometimes lead them to act in an outrageous manner. Some cry when their team’s batsman gets out while others take more aggressive measures. When their team wins an important match people celebrate by dancing their hearts out and some even throw parties. Those attached to cricket, especially in the Asian region, make the game a matter of life and death. In the stadiums, fans are seen playfully mocking each other when their team scores a sixer. In the Pakistan vs Afghanistan match, however, the situation got slightly out of hand when Afghanistan lost an almost won match to Pakistan.

In videos that surfaced online, Afghans were seen to be ripping apart seats in the stadium and throwing them at Pakistani fans. There was a hurl of abuses and throwing of wrappers on the fans of the rival team. Another video showed a Pakistani cricket enthusiast mockingly dancing at the Afghanis when a Pakistani player shot a sixer. Although this was all fun and banter, the Afghans went overboard with their frustration and what they did was unacceptable. Later it was revealed that the UAE Police fined all those who were involved in the incident and have made it clear that if anyone of those involved in that incident is found guilty of another vandalism spree like this, they will be deported for good.

For South Asians who play cricket, the game is not just a game, it is a matter of life and death. People in this region take it extremely seriously and sometimes the air in the stadiums is very heavy due to the battle-like scenes of the forthcoming match. The most special match played by the South Asians is that of India and Pakistan in which the players give nail-biting performances. Stadiums are usually jam-packed in these matches and there is real tension in the air. The rivalry goes beyond cricket but is heightened in a playful manner during the matches. However, it has never happened that after losing the match, Indians or Pakistanis ransack the stadium or physically assault each other.  A certain level of respect is maintained and the winning team is congratulated. Players and spectators of both sides usually remain calm and let the others celebrate.

In the Pakistan vs Afghanistan match, not only the fans but the cricketers also behaved in an unruly manner, however, that was sorted immediately on the field. Since both teams are like families, when a player is hurt by the other team, the whole team gathers and supports them. When Pakistan’s Asif Ali and Afghanistan’s Fareed Ahmed had a row on the field, it was seen that other players like Naseem Shah did not take it well and maybe that is why in the last over he shot two sixes which eventually tipped the match over to Pakistan’s side.

Today’s winners may be tomorrow’s losers and vice versa. When a game is played the chances of winning and losing are equal, therefore, such things should be enjoyed and not taken to heart. Afghanistan’s team is fairly new and the spectators naturally want their team to win which is why the emotions are at peak but it should be understood that unruly behaviour is unacceptable and the team and the spectators should be respectful and enjoy.


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