Australia clinched their sixth men’s ODI World Cup 2023 title on Sunday, triumphing over India in front of a roaring sea of 92,453 blue-clad fans in Ahmedabad. While the host team grappled with the disappointment of not securing a victory, the lack of sportsmanship exhibited by spectators inside the stadium and by certain politicians left social media users disheartened.
This incident was not an isolated one, nor wasn’t the first time that opposing teams faced silence or boos from spectators at the Narendra Modi Stadium when playing against India. Pakistan experienced a similar reception during its Oct 14 match. However, in stark contrast to Babar Azam and his team, the Australian side remained unfazed and well-prepared. Captain Pat Cummins, speaking a day before the final match, had noted, “The crowd’s obviously going to be very one-sided, but in sport, there’s nothing more satisfying than hearing a big crowd go silent, and that’s the aim for us tomorrow”.
Indian fans were certainly unhappy with their team’s performance.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s behaviour was particularly peculiar as he abruptly left the stage, leaving Cummins standing alone and looking quite awkward.
There were a lot of jokes about the silence when Australia won.
The subdued applause that greeted Travis Head when he scored a century puzzled cricket enthusiasts worldwide. As the 29-year-old raised his bat in acknowledgement, he was met with a stunned and silent crowd.
Commentator Mark Howard observed the eerie atmosphere following the achievement, remarking, “The crowd again is silent” as Head celebrated the incredible feat. Howard was not the sole observer of the conspicuous absence of applause.
Fans noticed World Cup final umpire Richard Kettleborough was booed when called up on stage during the trophy presentation.
We understand that fans may have been disappointed, but the silence of the crowd during the other team’s triumphs, the absence of cheers for Head’s landmark achievement, the emptiness of the stadium during the winners’ celebration, and the boos directed at the umpire weren’t okay. At the end of the day, it’s a game.