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Without any second thought, Indian fans are the most passionate Cricket fans in the world. It doesn’t matter on which corner of the cosmos our team is playing, fans will turn up, turn up in rather huge, overwhelming numbers. Their loyalty, dedication, and love for the game are unquestionable entities. Through thick and thin, they’ve stuck with the team.

It all started when an Indian Captain with an unparalleled vision dared to take on the world and ended up defeating it in 1983. The heroics of the Kapil Dev-led Indian team inspired a generation of upcoming stalwarts who now have their names etched on for eternity in history. Since then, it has been no looking back for India. The heroics of KD, the macho of SG, the genius of MSD, and now, the dare of VK have made India, one of the giants of the cricketing world.

The fans had and still have a lot to do with this. Without their support, a mere sport would never have become a religion. But we know where there is light, there are shadows. I’ll redirect you to the concept of Yin Yang that states:

“In all aspects of the physical world, there is duality. In light, there’s darkness and, in darkness, there’s light.”

Such is the case with the fans here as well. When the team is doing well, all good and jolly, but the moment they falter, a sizeable portion of them are ready with a knife around their necks. Hypocrisy?

Well, a few years back, a very infamous phrase was going around, which divided our nation into two schools of thought.

“Are Indians intolerant?”

Well, I won’t get on to that part. Honestly, it’s still open for debate and deliberations with different conflicting thoughts: none right, none wrong. The reason why I brought that up was because of what’s going around in India. Yes, we lost to Pakistan in a World Cup encounter. Yes, it was the first time ever something of that sort happened. And yes, we are deeply hurt.

Possessing a proud record of being 12-0 up against our arch-rivals cum “sworn enemies” in the form of Pakistan is finally broken. Saying that the people here in our nation are hurt and saddened by what happened would be an understatement.

Cricket in India is a religion and, we have our faith attached to the team. But here lies the problem. It’s one thing to be emotionally attached, and it’s another to let go of your emotions in the form of hatred in the lives of these sporting professionals. When we win, we surely shower heaps of praises on our heroes but, that doesn’t mean the opposite should also occur.

Don’t get the wrong idea here. I am not against the concept of criticism. On the contrary, I believe criticism is almost as necessary as compliments because it takes both sun and rain for a flower to blossom. But, there’s a thin line between criticism and hatred. Being thoughtful and pointing out mistakes to help someone improve is constructive criticism; crossing the line and finding faults merely to hurt someone is hatred.

That is the reason why burning idols, destroying TV sets, abusing not just the players involved but also their families is nowhere close to justified. But here in India, these ill activities have become a common practice that surprises no one anymore. Definitely, we’ve grown tolerant of the fact that it is inevitable. But, this intolerance to failure, can that be justified?

The answer is a clear, blatant NO.

“We are proud of the fact that we are 11-0 up. But it is a reality that we will also lose at some point in time. If it’s not today, then it will be after 10, 20, or 50 years. We can’t always keep winning.”

– MSD, March 2016.

Cricket, in the end, is just another sport. The team that plays better emerges victorious. That’s all there is to it. Pakistan was clearly a better side on that day and, so was India in their freakish win streak of 12-0 that extended for a time span of almost 29 years.

While the disappointment of the fans has certainly shaped itself in the form of rage and anger. Another problem persists here. These waves of rage and fury, instead of being directed towards the entire team, are generally directed towards certain individuals. And that’s not even the end of it. These individuals, more often than not, either belong to a particular franchise or regional community. By now, you should’ve guessed where exactly I am getting at. Let’s commence our discussion with the former and lesser concerning stumbling blocks.


Even though we all can adhere to the fact that IPL is probably the best thing that ever happened to Indian cricket in terms of revenue generated, global expansion, and most importantly, talent scouting for the Indian Cricket team. But then again, there’s a Yang part to it. Time and again, it has questioned the very fundamental of sports fandom: Unity.

IPL divided the Indian Cricket fans and, that certainly is one of the main reasons why individuals belonging to a particular “clan” face more heat than others for a flop show. Not taking names, but a large section of fans just can’t let of the past and are still adhering to it instead of looking forward to what looks like a bright future ahead. They are still clinging on to their fond memories and, every time they see the future generation falter, they begin to reminisce. Reminiscing is fine but going on to the extent of enjoying the future gen’s failure is so wrong at so many levels.

To justify my allegations, I would like to throw some instances at your disposal. The moment MSD retired from international Cricket, Rishabh Pant, a promising youngster, donned the gloves as a replacement. There have been matches where the shouts of “Dhoni, Dhoni” were hurled at him whenever he made some errors on the field.

Well, another recurrent example is MSD and Rohit fans targetting Virat Kohli as a skipper. The opposite also holds. When Rohit underperforms, Kohli fans are quick to target the 34-year-old veteran. Now, these are a few examples of what actually is a non-exhaustive list.

Now the only possible, logical explanation to this rift between fans is the Indian Premier League, where more than the players, the fans get divided into different, mutually exhaustive clans. Now, these clans, over the course of time, have developed internal rivalries. The most famous is the rivalry trio of CSK-MI-RCB. Some of their fans would literally kill to make their team win against the other 2. Such is the extent of their loyalty and dedication, which is not a great thing if you look from a broader horizon.

So, what’s the solution to this ongoing problem?

Well, as long as this “rivalry” exists only during the tenure of the tournament, it is acceptable and fair. But the moment our players don National Jersey, so should we.


Barring “The IPL Angle,” the other set of fans who hamper the genuineness of true fans are seasonal fans and hate-mongers. These fans don’t follow the game as such in fact only show up for big matches like the Indo-Pak encounter and ICC events. They only pretend to have a POV without any knowledge, just to get noticed or fit in. Without being part of the process, they turn up at the big stages expecting miracles from the team.

Now expecting miracles is still justified. But, without knowing the actual team dynamics questioning the team selection and members is so not done. Immature social media ad campaigns are greatly responsible for influencing their mindset and thought process.

After our recent defeat, a few of these “fans” latched on to Mohammad Shami’s (who had a pretty substandard outing) social media accounts. Few even went on to the extent of questioning his loyalty to the nation just because he belongs to a minority religious community in India. Fans who genuinely watch and follow the Indian Cricket team know how instrumental Shami was in making India one of the best fast bowling line-ups in the world.

With all that being said, an important question arises: what’s the solution to his ongoing havoc?

Well nothing, to be absolutely honest, cause this won’t happen overnight. Again, it’s not like every fan out there is insensible (or even sensible) for that matter. Even so, the ratio of rational to irrational sure exceeds the latter.

What I hope to achieve from this article is to confront a small mass of my readers. I’m sure they very well know under which category they belong. I want my readers to think it through once for a while. I would conclude by saying that:

Bleed blue even during times of blues.


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