Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Being A Fan

Last Sunday, India lost T20 Cricket World Cup to Sri Lanka. Yuvraj Singh played a slow inning and was blamed for the low score of 130 for India, which resulted in a loss of final match. While watching the match, I was like many others impatiently hoping and shouting for Yuvraj to play a four or a six, or at least rotate the strike to in-form batsman Virat. During the Lanka's innings the match was clearly nearing Lanka's win, and the jokes targeting Yuvraj went viral on whatsapp, facebook, twitter.

I laughed at few jokes, and went to sleep. For me the topic was over. But it wasn't for the world, and many "fans" of cricket. They kept cracking jokes, kept criticizing. Indian skipper M S Dhoni was tired answering questions regarding Yuvraj. His remarks that “it's a team game, and one person, one bad day should not be held responsible” were ignored. Some "fans", didn't stop here, they went to Yuvraj's home and attacked with stones. Police had to provide security for Yuvraj's family.

Do we really deserve to be called as fans? If we take pride in the victories of our sports team, shouldn't we support them in tough times?

When Indian team was knocked out of world cup in 2007, some extreme fans attacked and destroyed the ongoing construction of new house for M S Dhoni. He had said that he will definitely win world cup, and he with his team did it in next one. People in every city were out on streets dancing, celebrating whole night when India won world cup. 

When team does well, we celebrate, as if we have done that, it’s our own victory. Then why the loss is only of the team or the player? Moreover do we have any right to punish players for poor performance like that? We must ask one simple question to ourselves, can we play cricket as good as those players, selected after much struggle? If yes, why are we not in the team, and if no, how can we punish people for not doing a thing that we ourselves can't. 

Some of those extreme fans might answer that it’s their (player's) job to play for India, they are paid for it. Yes, it's their job, and they are humans. Are we always perfect in our own jobs? We also make mistakes. We also perform terribly sometimes, and our team at work may suffer sometimes because of us. Imagine if in such time, jokes about you and your performance are shared by your boss, colleagues on social media. It would not be as big as Yuvraj, Ishant Sharma's viral jokes, but certainly your image in your circle would be dented. If you did something wrong, and your house/family is attacked, would you bear that threat?

Players in any sport are just doing their job. Like any other profession, they will have good and bad phases in their career. Sports and players come before the fans, if there are no players, there will not be any fans. We must understand our limits. We admire the game, we love our players, but we don't own them.

They come up in the national scenario after a lot of struggle and competition. They reach where they are because they have some talent. Fans do have important role, but you can become fan of someone only when you see him doing good, that someone is not bound to do good just because you are his fan. That's the natural order.

Yuvraj Singh for one, has played crucial role in India's win in many tournament's including 4 world cups (Under 15,19, T20, ODI). Great players, like Harbhajan, cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar have come forward to support Yuvraj. And other players too who have faced this situation like Ishant Sharma, R Jadeja have played both well in many matches for India.

Let's understand what it is being a fan, and support our players to achieve glory for Indian sports.