Good, Bad and Ugly ft. Cricket's comeback, Warne's sly dig and Chhetri's racist encounter

Good, Bad and Ugly ft. Cricket's comeback, Warne's sly dig and Chhetri's racist encounter

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Good, Bad, Ugly Edition May 24

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The Covid-19 battle has not been easy and the world is still dealing with it, with just a handful of sporting activities having gotten underway. Even with little developments, there has been plenty of drama across the globe, thanks to social media, which brings us to this week's Good, Bad & Ugly.

The Good

Finally, some cricketing action!

The Vincy Premier T10 League kicked-off with much aplomb and why not? It has been two months since we have been exposed to any sort of a  battle between bat and the ball in the middle of the 22-yard strip. While many would definitely raise a finger on the resumption of cricket at a time when the world is still tackling with the deadly virus, the Caribbean-based cricket league has garnered huge viewership from its onset. The tourney will continue throughout the month of May, with the final to be played on the 31st.

Across the Pacific Ocean, on the other side of the globe, the Vanuatu Premier Blast T10 League has also picked up quite a bit of pace, with three teams playing it out in a round-robin format. Despite the cricketers might not being household names, the excitement has been up to the brim. With the World T20 looking likely to be postponed, we might not have too many cricket leagues to fill our appetite in the months. For now, this is the best we can hope for. 

Former players oppose construction of Sri Lanka's largest cricket stadium

Sanath Jayasuriya and Mahela Jayawardene, two of Sri Lanka’s most celebrated cricketers, took a bold step by opposing a proposed $40 million dollar project to build the country’s largest cricket stadium, near its capital city. Bandula Gunawardana, Information and Higher Education minister, was the mastermind behind the project, but the former cricketers warned that it would do little good to the growth and development of Sri Lankan cricket.

Instead of wasting resources to build a stadium, Jayasuriya and Jayawardene insisted that the money should be used to support young players and build school cricket. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was of the same idea and scrapped the idea altogether. Previously, a 35-000 capacity stadium was built in Hambantota with the backing of Rajapaksa - something which has become a white elephant off-late - but the recent turn of events prevented the same.

The Bad

Only closed-door sports in India in the near future 

Just when we were bracing up for the resumption of sports in this part of the world, especially after the German Bundesliga showed the way forward, India’s sports minister’s announcement came in as a shock. Even though stadiums and sports facilities have been given a go-ahead, Kiren Rijiju has blown away the prospect of hosting a tournament on Indian soil anytime soon. The Indian Premier League has already been postponed, does the recent development mean it will be scrapped for good?

While former Indian footballer Bhaichung Bhutia admitted that ‘closed-door’ matches are likely to be in fashion in the near future, Rijiju also echoed along the same lines. Having said that, the official stated that the health of the athletes is of utmost priority, which is likely to influence the decision taken on the future of sports in India. Probabilities are high that the IPL might be staged later this year, only after approval, but most likely behind closed doors. Imagine Virat Kohli hitting a maximum in front of an empty Eden Gardens. Weird, isn’t it?

Shane Warne takes a sly dig at Steve Waugh

Australia in the late ’90s was a force to be reckoned with and the dominance they showed was incomparable to any other cricket team, barring the West Indies unit of the late 1970s. And two of the most influential players from that Aussie side were Steve Waugh and Shane Warne, who are widely regarded as the game's all-time greats. However, in a recent turn of events, the spin-wizard took a dig at his former teammate and skipper by stating that Waugh was easily the most selfish cricketer that he had ever played with. Well that was a strong statement made against one of the most successful Australians to ever play the game.

That’s not all. Warne went on to say that his fellow Aussie was more of a match saver than a match-winner. In response, the World Cup-winning captain was not too vocal about the leggy’s statement saying that he didn’t need to justify anything. As a matter of fact, the glitch between these two stalwarts started back in 1999, when Warne was dropped from the squad to fit in Stuart MacGill for a Test match against West Indies, which did not go down well with the spinner from Victoria.

The Ugly

Sunil Chhetri faces racist comments on social media

We do tend to live in a civilized society but believe me, that’s just a skin with a venomous serpent underneath. The recent turn of events, in which Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri was attacked racially,  has once again proved that Indians still need a lot of sanitization to be termed as ‘civilized.’ Two of India’s most successful and respected sportsmen, Virat Kohli and Sunil Chhetri indulged in a video-chat earlier this week to kill the boredom created by the Covid-19 lockdown and also entertain the fans to some extent.

What they never expected was to receive racist comments from their own people, the people they’ve dedicated their entire career. Unfortunate, isn’t it? I wonder whether the same would have happened if a cricketer was on the other side of the screen along with Virat Kohli. For God’s sake, let us appreciate the efforts of Indians from other disciplines too - cricket is not the only sport in India, even though it is the most popular one.

Aakash Chopra hurled with abuses on social media

Cricket analysts ply their trade by giving opinions, by providing perspective to its followers. Foretelling is not a part of their job, nor do they have the power to call the shots, and former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra, a few months ago, listed an opinion-driven list of probables for India’s World T20 squad. For certain reasons, according to the expert, MS Dhoni was not a part of his selections. While it might have raised a few eyebrows, considering the impact the former skipper brings to the team, Aakash had strong views to back up his claim for picking young Rishabh Pant as a wicket-keeper.

Critics were primed to hit back, but what happened, as revealed by Chopra recently, was shameful. Cricket fans across India took to social media and hurled abuses at Aakash Chopra. The incident turned even ugly as they started abusing the former cricketer’s kids, following which he was forced to shut down social media for a few days. Aakash even apologized for what happened. But why? Was it really necessary? It is unfortunate to see people misuse freedom on social media, making the platform a toxic one.

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