It was a Super Sunday. The Indian hockey team was set to face Pakistan for a place in the quarterfinal of the World Hockey League Semi-Final. Ace shuttler K. Srikanth was set to play the Indonesian Open final against a Japanese opponent. And of course, our beloved cricket team was playing against “arch-rivals” Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final.
But obviously, we Indians are obsessed with only the latter. So even before the final took place, the Indian cricket team was pipped to win. Our media went into an overdrive- over analysing every minute detail and what not.
Certainly this wasn’t the end of it though. The final came and our team well, to put it nicely, bombed. However, it wasn’t all that bad for India. The hockey team thrashed Pakistan 7-1 to seal a place in the quarterfinals. Srikanth won his badminton final too. Alas, who cares about all that though, right?
Our news channels had nothing else to discuss except the cricket team’s “humiliating defeat”. Lots of trolls came up on social media sites and some turned fair weather fans of hockey and badminton. Why? Because we are hypocrites like that.
And then came the next morning. I was looking forward to a happy front page. We got 2 out of 3, right? That didn’t sound bad to me at all. But nothing could brace me for the pure ignorance by our newspapers. For example, Hindustan Times’ front page carried NO MENTION of Srikanth’s win and the hockey win was reduced to merely a small 1 inch box. All they cared about was how the Indian cricket team choked under pressure.
Another newspaper asked its readers to turn to the last page if they wanted to read the “happy news” related to hockey. Obviously, because the front page HAD to carry the “grim news” of the cricket team’s loss.
It is so sad to see that even when our sportsperson perform exceedingly well and even win tournaments, they will always be overshadowed by our cricketers. Even when they lose!
It was the time for our hockey team to shine. For Srikanth to shine. To take the center-stage. And sadly, that was not to be. Why? Because their wins coincided with a cricket tournament and that is all we seem to care about.
And I am not okay with that. Neither should you be.
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