Indian fans are facing criticism for their partisan reaction to losing the Cricket World Cup final to Australia, particularly for booing the umpires during the medal ceremony. Despite over 110,000 spectators, the majority being Indian supporters, leaving the Narendra Modi Stadium in Gujarat before Australia lifted the trophy, boos were audible as field umpires Richard Kettleborough and Richard Illingworth, along with umpire Joel Wilson and fourth umpire Chris Gaffney, received their medals.
The backlash on social media was triggered by the seemingly reaction, especially since the match lacked significant refereeing controversies. The only notable incident involved a potential LBW call on a delivery by Jasprit Bumrah to Marnus Labuschagne, where the on-field decision was upheld after a review showed the ball just clipping the leg stump, with the impact too close to call definitively.
Some fans criticized Kettleborough, suggesting he oversaw a disproportionate number of Indian losses. However, others condemned the crowd’s behavior, labeling it “a disgrace to cricket” and describing the Indian fans’ reaction as “pathetic and immature.”
Criticism also surfaced for the crowd’s response to Travis Head’s century, a standout performance that earned him the player-of-the-match title. Only a small portion of the audience applauded as Head raised his bat after reaching his 50, prompting sports writer Bharat Sundaresan to call it “extraordinary” and note the subdued reception for a World Cup final century. Former Middlesex bowler Simon Hughes questioned whether such a remarkable hundred had ever been greeted with such ambivalence on such a massive occasion.
The incident reflects a broader sentiment of disappointment with the fans’ reaction to both the umpires and an exceptional individual performance. The online discourse highlighted the perceived lack of sportsmanship and maturity among certain sections of the Indian cricket fanbase.
In the aftermath of the World Cup final, the focus shifted not only to Australia’s triumph but also to the unsavory moments during the medal ceremony. The criticism on social media serves as a reminder of the importance of respectful and sportsmanlike conduct in the realm of international sports, even in the face of defeat.