Boos for umpires, silence for Head: Ahmedabad crowd earns ‘sore losers’ tag
There was no particular reason for the umpires to be booed; it seemed just a way for the crowd to vent their disappointment
A day before the ICC World Cup 2023 final on Sunday (November 19), Australia captain Pat Cummins had said their objective was to silence the “one-sided” crowd. And the 130,000-strong crowd at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium turned out to be very one-sided indeed, being unsporting enough to greet Aussie batter Travis Head’s century with a ghastly silence, and breaking the silence only to boo the umpires as they received their mementos.
The Ahmedabad crowd’s actions have prompted commentators and cricket lovers to lash out at them, calling them “sore losers”. Cricket journalist Bharat Sundaresan pointed out on X (Twitter), “Some 80 people among the 11000+ at the Narendra Modi Stadium clapped their hands together as Travis Head raised his bat after reaching his 50.”
Head was the one to demolish the Indian bowling with a remarkable 137 off 120 balls that earned him the Player of the Match. It was also only the seventh World Cup final century out of the 13 played so far, following Viv Richards (1979), Clive Lloyd (1983), Aravinda de Silva (1996), Ricky Ponting (2003), Adam Gilchrist (2007), and Mahela Jayawardene (2011). However, the Ahmedabad crowd greeted him with a deafening silence when he raised his bat.
Even more embarrassing was when the crowd booed on-field umpires Richard Kettleborough and Richard Illingworth when they were called to receive their mementos. There was no particular reason for the umpires to be booed. No controversial calls as such were made in the match. It seemed just a way for the crowd to vent their disappointment.
“What a loser crowd half left before end and hardly any cheering for that century or even the win (sic),” tweeted a user named Edgar Allan Poeha (@vaniIlaessence), adding “And I could not believe my ears but they BOOED THE UMPIRES????”
The user also posted: “The empty seats once india starts losing, the inability to cheer for a spectacular innings and a well deserved World Cup win, booing the umpires, shouting KohliKohli when their players are being announced, and now this. This has been so deeply embarrassing. And on the world stage (sic).”
Stand-up comedian Anshu Mor wrote along the same lines: “Crowd booing the umpires receiving medals and then shouting Rohit Rohit when Australian team was receiving their medals…Cities with a great cricketing culture like Mumbai, Chennai or Kolkata should hold these big matches.”
As Australia comfortably chased India’s modest total of 240 with 42 balls to spare, many fans left the stadium early realising that the home team wasn’t going to make it. Worse, even several Indian team members weren’t gracious enough to be present on the field during the presentation ceremony.
“Have to feel for this Indian team. KL Rahul and Mohammad Siraj looked inconsolable while even Rohit Sharma didn’t hang around at all after the customary handshakes & just ran up up the long steps here to the dressing-room,” Sundaresan wrote in another X post.
Indian captain Rohit Sharma conceded that Australia were simply the better team on Sunday. “They put us completely out of the game,” he admitted.As for Cummins, he said in the post-match ceremony that he was happy to see the crowd silent. “It was awesome, I was pretty happy that they (the crowd) were silent for a lot of the bowling innings. A couple of times, they got loud and it was really loud. But fantastic, the passion in India is unrivalled around the world. You look around and it is a pretty special moment, whatever the result happens, we are never going to forget a day like today,” he said.