There is no place for hate in talking about cricket, or any sport
The Asia Cup 2018 was held in the UAE recently, writing, once again, a heartbreaking story for fans of the Bangladeshi cricket team -- but anyone who watched the final match ball by ball should not be anything less than proud of our Tigers.
I’m no analyst of the game of cricket, neither will I pretend to be one and analyze the game like a dilettante. Instead, what I observed with a great degree of curiosity was the really unfortunate and pitiful behaviour on the part of “fans” surrounding pretty much every cricket match involving our national team, more so if the match in question is eventful in results.
Many times when I miss some crucial segments of any match, I try to watch the highlights on YouTube later. The most uncomfortable thing that I always discover is the comment section.
I have been looking into it for a long time, and from my experience I can say, more than 80% of the comments are filled with vicious hatred.
Sometimes while reading the comments, I forget whether I came to watch a cricket match highlights -- it seems that I have come here to read commentary about some geopolitical debate.
Such bitter exchange of dirty words among civilized people, supposedly rational people, becomes really hard to digest.
Now, it seems we cannot talk to people from other cricketing nations -- all other countries seem to be indulging themselves in spreading such unnecessary hatred, but we can talk to our people. My personal experience of doing so has not been too pleasant -- everyone seems to have some argument always ready about who started it first -- and it all devolves into one gigantic mess, each side hurling insults, playing the victim card, and there is no resolution.
Some questions continue to bemuse me -- exactly what do we want to achieve through such slinging off at each other? Is it some sort or war where the vanquished will sign an instrument of surrender, and we will get an eternal victory?
Also, how logical and sensible is it to belittle a whole country just by judging a certain group of people?
Moreover, do we really consider such an exchange of words to be an act of defending our country or patriotism?
Lastly, what I would love to see our people realize is, we don’t always need to reply to an inflammatory message or comment every single time-- sometimes the best way to deal with such meaningless words is to remain silent, and not react -- revenge exacted through the means of silence and complete indifference. Meaningful silence is much better than meaningless argument. Also, spreading hatred has always been easier than spreading love -- it is up to us, as Bangladeshis, about which way we believe is the correct way to be presenting ourselves.
Ratnadeep Toorja is a freelance contributor.