What you say about the other, does, in fact, say a lot about you. If you haven’t heard of this before, then probably you have just been busy talking. And remember, what the famous former captain of the West Indies team Darren Sammy had said in the year 2014: “Talk is cheap.” Then little did the two time world cup winning leader from St. Lucia would have known that his poignant comment would come to hold such deep meaning.
A meaning that does define the current culture of online trolling. Trolling for fun may seem a normal activity for recreation or leisure, something that’s become an everyday reality of sorts. But when done relentlessly on another person, targeting someone specifically speaking, then it can lead to a whole lot of other uglier things.
When on October 24, 2021, in their campaign-opener against Pakistan, India got a good taste of reality, then one particular member of the famous bleed blue campaign found himself cornered.
What was his fault, though? Well, only this that he had conceded too many runs from his quota of overs.
Wicketless in forty-three runs from nearly eleven overs, Mohammed Shami wasn’t thre greatest thing about a heartbroken team from the sub-continent; there barely was anything as such to feel proud of.
Where truth concerns, it is a fast bowler that India cannot do without in the high-octane matches then it’s that he needs the team just as much as it needs him.
But who would have known, certainly not Mohammed Shami himself that at the back of just a solitary game, yes, just one game, to be honest, would be subjected to vicious online trolling and scornful treatment.
Both of these, you ought to remember, are no benchmarks to judge a cricketer or his talent but certainly offer a window to understanding the audiences’ mindset. The audience that calls itself cricket loving and wants to be seen as a purist but is anything but.
Those cohorts of humans who even have the audacity to call themselves fans of the game but will not waste a second before engaging in the only way they know to lead life- by bringing down another, this being the one who has actually come to achieve something.
For had that not been the case then Mohammed Shami would not have been out there trying all he could on the cricket field but would so easily have been part of the audience.
Yes, the results against Pakistan were listless, no second thoughts on that. But, at least, see whom you are trolling? The person behind 355 international dismissals, one who is, where it stands at present, just 5 away from his 200th Test wicket.
Dravid had once said- no dream is ever chased alone. Perhaps the Wall as only he could, was pointing to the contribution of so many whose contributions go unnoticed in achieving something in cricket- the sacrifice of parents, the doting care of the wife, the love the children provide and forget not, the unrelenting support of the fans.
So by that logic, it ought to be said, Shami’s family too, much like that of any cricketer, has sacrificed so much to have sent their son onto the cricket field- right?
And perhaps with the hope that he will do all his best for his country and will, at the back of a bad day in the field, have the affection of those who believe in him.
It’s what Warnie’s parents thought of. It’s what Murali’s family did when they sent the most successful spinner (of all time) to the field. Same for Sir Curtly, ditto for legends- Walsh, Akram, Younis, ‘Thommo’, Sir Hadlee and countless others.
But what good are we fans, at the end of the day, when we direct ire to the very person who directs all his passion toward the cause of the team.
Must we not ask ourselves, have we never failed? Most importantly, what great feat in life was achieved without failing.
Have a good day ahead and before you move forward, hear this speech of Denzel Washington on failure:
(Shami failed against Pakistan, not in his efforts though! He’s been a trier. And remember, those who do not try will never go on to achieve anything for that matter)