Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mumbai crowds understand their cricket, Virat!

Virat Kohli is unhappy about how the crowd jeered him in Mumbai, during the Mumbai Indians vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore game. And, he lashed back at them during the post-match presentation and press conference

He wants the crowd to remember that he plays for India too!! And hence, he should not be booed. Since when did representing India become a certificate that will prevent booing? He doesn't understand why is there so much "hatred" at this particular venue. And he feels people should be aware of their cricket. Well, Kohli, you are the vice-captain of the Indian team, and captain of the Royal Challengers' team, but your statements certainly reveal your ignorance of the historic passion the Mumbai crowd has for cricket. This is a crowd that has booed and jeered visiting teams when they play Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy matches. For them, when Mumbai is playing they are passionate and take every win and loss of the team almost personally. So, instead of actually enjoying the fact that city-based leagues like IPL are creating local fans who feel an attachment to their team, Virat wants these fans (and consequently all those others watching the IPL) to be magnanimous and remember that players representing other cities play for India too and hence shouldn't be jeered/booed.

No sir, that isn't what city-based leagues are supposed to do. They are exactly supposed to do what the Ranji Trophy does. Create a loyal base of fans for your team. That is what happens in other leagues like everyone's favourite the EPL. And it is the same with (American and Canadian) football leagues here and ice-hockey matches. Fans root for their city/state/province and if they feel like, boo the opposition. It doesn't matter if there are players in the opposition who represent their country. Right now, you are a rival of our home team! And you will be viewed as one. Doesn't Virat passionately advertise for the Bangalore team? 

Yes Virat, Mumbai cricket fans are a passionate lot and when Mumbai plays, they take it personally. And they will cheer for you, when you appear for team India, but when you play in the IPL, you are a rival. Try to take it sportingly. Perhaps the IPL is successful in creating city-based loyalties, which is necessary even for franchisees if they want a marketable fan-base. Ask your boss (and his son), they would be happy to see a Bangalore crowd which demonstrates fierce loyalty towards its team. Right now, your 'viraat' verbal diarrhea against the Mumbai crowd doesn't give you any brownie points and shows that you do not have it in you to stomach such opposition with a large heart. Perhaps, you might want to learn a few things from your RCB predecessors- Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble.
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