By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2020-02-11 12:08:10
The reputation of cricket was shredded after the ugly scenes that were witnessed on the ground at Potchefstroom in South Africa after Bangladesh won the final in a low scoring and bitterly fought match. Although the Bangladeshi players were uncharacteristically and threateningly aggressive in their victory celebrations, the Indians cannot escape scrutiny or reprimand for losing their cool and allowing things to slip out of hand.
After they won, the whole Bangladeshi team celebrated in a style reminiscent of street matches. Such lewd signs (and abusive language, as reported) do not belong on a cricket field where it is a tradition to first respect the opposing team for having participated in a game that allowed you to win. Yet, the Bangladeshis behaved as if they had won a war. Without provocation, they started to approach the area where the Indian players were standing and subjected them to abuse.
It was natural for the hot-headed among the Indians to react. But they should not have. No Indian team at any level in international cricket has a history of being a part of such disgraceful behavior. This Indian team should also have maintained that clean slate. By getting provoked, the Indian colts showed that they had not yet made the transition from boys to men. It was also a huge failure on the part of the team officials present there as they should have reined in the players.
The ICC has rightly taken a serious note of the incident and has banned five players from both teams for varying periods after watching the video footage. Towhid Hridoy, Shamim Hossain and Rakibul Hasan of Bangladesh and Ravi Bishnoi and Akash Singh of India were charged with breaching the ICC code of conduct and handed international suspensions of between 4 to 10 matches. One hopes that this serious rap on the knuckles would serve as a wakeup call for these youngsters to shore up their behavior and not forget that they are ambassadors of both the sport and the country they represent.