Celebs and cricketing world rushes to Sarfaraz’s defence

Blogs   June 26, 2019
Do you think it was fair to target the captain for the entire match?

Pakistani sports fans are super passionate.

They get wild about their wins, can analyse matches better than most sports commentators, and take every loss as a personal defeat. A flip side to this passion, however, is the extent to which they can express their intense investment – especially in the cricketing world.

Times have been tough for the Pakistan cricket team in the 2019 World Cup: after a single meaningful victory against England, the team’s good fortune took a turn for the worst.

A terrible loss against India on June 16, left the national cricket team berated, abused and completely downtrodden. The usual match analyses were replaced by insults and bullying directed at the team, their incompetence, their fitness and at captain Sarfaraz Ahmed. A Pakistani fan even filed a petition in the Gujranwala Civil Court against the cricket team, seeking a ban on the entire squad.

However, this chain of ongoing backlash has turned into harassment for the cricketers, especially for the captain. Sarfaraz Ahmed, accompanied by his son, was insulted in person by an upset fan at a mall in England, after he obliged to his request for a photo.

After the video went viral on social media, fans and celebrities around the world, including those from India extended their support for the Pakistani captain.

The reaction from Pakistani sports fans was so extreme, the entire cricketing world, fought back against the tirade of horrible bullying. #IStandWithSarfaraz started trending across Pakistan for hours as Pakistanis, professional cricketers and celebrities defended the cricket team against the wave of abuse and harassment.

Pakistan’s head coach Mickey Arthur felt the defeat strongly too, “just think the guys were burnt last week (after the India match). The guys were incredibly hurt by media, by public, by social media, and hopefully we got a proper reaction from them today that can just shut some people up for a little while,” said the disappointed head coach while talking to media.

Pakistan since has made a strong comeback, beating South Africa to keep their semi-final chances alive.”It happens so quick. You lose a game; you lose another game; it’s a World Cup,” said Mickey Arthur.

The deprecating humour Pakistanis take on often makes for great offhanded jokes from time to time, but when it reaches aggressive overtones, people who call themselves ‘fans’ need to check their behavior and the entitlement with which they hurl insults at other people.

Here’s to hoping the upcoming matches are enjoyable and drama free!