After India taking thrashing from Pakistan losing by 10 wickets in their opener T20 game, New Zealand inflicted a crushing eight-wicket defeat on India at the cricket T20 World Cup putting the tournament favourites on the brink of elimination. That sent their fans into a social media attack frenzy including making rape threats against players’ families.
Indian fans are upset because Indians could be eliminated from the tournament. They just need to lose to Afghanistan. They may also chose to lose to Namibia if Kohli and his boys continue their unique form of losing crucial matches.
India’s much-trumpeted “strong line-up of batters” capitulated for the second time – reaching only 7-110 after New Zealand chose to bowl.
Daryl Mitchell (49) and captain Kane Williamson (33 not out) effortlessly took New Zealand to 2-111 in just 14.3 overs in a very lopsided T20 match with more than 5 overs to spare.
New Zealander leg-spinner Ish Sodhi bowled an impressive spell of 2-17 in the middle overs and picked up the key wickets of Rohit Sharma (14) and Virat Kohli (9) descending the Indian fans into the abyss one more time.
It was fortunate for Rohit he did not get out first ball golden duck for the second successive game. Adam Milne dropped him at deep fine leg.
But once Sodhi had both Rohit and Kohli dismissed, India capitulated and the social media hate campaign was unleashed on Indians and their families.
In Kohli’s case, an allegedly sickening campaign on social media called for his 9-months old daughter Vamika to be raped.
Media reports say the Cyber Crime branch of Delhi Police had swung into action to register FIRs against culprits.
The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has taken suo motu cognizance of the online rape threats to Vamika and wrote to the Cyber Crime Branch of Delhi Police seeking details of cases registered in light of the threats.
A letter to the Delhi Police penned by DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal stated,
“It has been reported that online threats are being given to rape the 9 month old girl child of Virat Kohli since the team’s defeat in the recent India Pakistan cricket match. It is learnt that he is also being attacked since he spoke against the incessant trolling of team mate Md. Shami who was targeted for his religion by online trolls.
This is a very serious matter and attracts immediate action.”
The Commission has sought copies of any FIRs filed, details of accused identified, the steps taken by the Delhi Police to arrest the accused and a detailed action taken report in the matter by November 8, 2021.
The letter exhorted Indians to back their cricketers and not attack them and their family members.
In the match against New Zealand, after Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma failed, there were hardly any heroes. Rishabh Pant made 12, Hardik Pandya 23. Ravindra Jadeja top-scored with 26.
It has always been India’s problem to handle pressure.
Kohli candidly admitted his team capitulated under pressure.
“I don’t think we were brave enough with bat or ball … we weren’t brave when we walked out to field”, an embarrassed Virat Kohli said after the humiliating defeat.
“When you play for the Indian cricket team you have a lot of expectations – not just from fans – but players as well, so there’s always going to be more pressure with our games and we’ve embraced it over the years.”
Fans love their idols and players are given God like treatment by fans but that does not justify the vitriol and garbage and rape threats meted out to their families if they fail to perform.
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