Everyone loves the Pakistan cricket team right now and that 'everyone' includes Pakistani women. The team were already celebrities but the T20 World Cup and their stellar performance in it shot them to superstardom in the eyes of the internet and made them instant crush material. But for some reason, this countrywide adoration seems to have rubbed some people the wrong way.
The playing XI were quite the heroes during the tournament on and off the cricket pitch, heroes who seem to have snagged the hearts of many women across the country with their talent and good looks. Social media is now home to a fair share of stan accounts devoted to videos of Babar Azam, Shahdab Khan and Haris Rauf jumping in the air in slow motion, surrounded by heart emojis.
Case in point, these funny but sometimes very serious tweets.
This one was pretty hilarious.
You get the idea. But while many social media users are quite entertained with the internet's sudden preoccupation with the Men in Green, not everyone is happy. Some users have expressed their dislike of all the thirsting happening on social media, like this gentleman for instance.
This tweet did not go down well with female fans at all, a fact they really let everyone know through a number of humorous responses.
Some fairly pointed out that our premier is also a cricketer who saw a lot of thirsting during his own cricketing days.
Some women wondered why interest in cricket and cricket players are perceived as a man's domain only. Some male fans want to gatekeep the sport and keep women out for some reason.
They reminded folks that women aren't only just seasonal fans. There are some who've been following the game and harbouring admiration for certain players for a really long time.
Can you really blame someone for thirsting over their favourites when they look this good?
Since the time immemorial, people have been making fun of what women like. If they like singers or boybands, those singers become lame. If they like a TV show, it becomes girly or strange. If they like a TV show or game a man also likes, they are posers, wanting to impress men. If they like a sport... well, it seems women aren't allowed to like sports on the internet. For some reason, we just like hating on women liking things.
While the players and their dapper looks might be one of the reasons why women are crushing on them on social media, it would be unfair to assume that is the only reason. There are many women who've developed a fondness for the team because of their amazing performance and endearing actions we've seen from the players throughout the tournament. From being great sportsmen, sharing cake and hugs with their opponents and being wholesome to their young fans, we've seen some great moments from this cricket team and they are worthy of admiration. If people on the internet want to express that admiration in the form of funny tweets and cute videos of their favourite cricketers with sweet captions, what's the problem?
In short: stop gatekeeping sports and being a fan and let people thirst over players if they want to.