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I was in the stadium – disappointed at India’s loss and angry at those dissing the crowd. Here is how I felt during the ICC World Cup 2023 Final

In a nutshell, the crowds at the stadium were cosmopolitan. People from all over the country, including Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Nagpur, Indore, Jaipur, and other big and small towns, travelled to Ahmedabad to witness what they thought would culminate into a historic victory for Team India.

It was the 43rd over. I was at the stands with a mix of disappointment and admiration coursing through my veins. Disappointed with the impending Indian defeat and filled with admiration for the way Australia almost always manages to cross the finish line in crucial knockouts. Mohammad Siraj had just got the centurion, Travis Head, out and was running in to bowl to the new batsman Glenn Maxwell, with Australia just two runs away from yet another World Cup triumph.

Siraj bowled a menacing ball into Maxwell’s body but the Australian all-rounder was quick to pull it to the deep square leg for a comfortable two, registering 6th World Cup title for Australia. Before that, in the 33rd over, Travis Head scored a gritty hundred to a standing ovation from the Ahmedabad crowd, which was a sea of blue, with over 1 lakh 32 thousand in attendance.

While the crowd had expectedly gone silent as Australia coasted to victory and many left before the post-match presentation, there were thousands like me who waited in the stands, bewildered with the Indian loss and marvelling at the tenacity and mental toughness of Australians to win one ICC trophy after another.

But then there was a section of pathological Modi haters who exploited the World Cup loss to attack their bete noire, PM Modi, and the state he belongs from. A raft of leftists and the Congress IT ecosystem attacked the ‘Ahmedabad crowd’ and did not display the ‘spirit of the game’ by going silent and leaving early when the Indian team’s defeat seemed inevitable.

Rohini Singh, a ‘journalist’ with leftist propaganda portal The Wire, took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to use the occasion to indulge in what has been catnip for the Left-leaning propagandists: attack people of Gujarat because they propelled Modi on the national stage. 

Parth MN, another leftist propaganda with little grey cells, too, attacked the ‘Ahmedabad crowd’ for not staying for the post-match presentation and closing ceremony of the World Cup 2023. 

Atul Kasbekar, a fashion photographer and Bollywood producer, took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to blame the Ahmedabad crowd for the Indian team’s defeat in the World Cup 2023 finals.

As is evident from the above tweets, the propagandists used the Indian team’s defeat to further their longstanding hate towards PM Modi and his home state, Gujarat. The outburst by the Left is, by no means, objective and is rooted in their pathological hatred for Gujaratis, which has manifested time and again.

The fact is that people from all over the country came to Ahmedabad to witness the historic finals. The spirit among the fans in the stadium was upbeat, thanks to the Indian team’s dominance in the World Cup, beating every other team in the competition. There were special trains run from Mumbai to Ahmedabad to facilitate the cricket fans to reach Ahmedabad. 

The flight fares to Ahmedabad were 6-8 times the nominal rates because people from all over the country were flying into Ahmedabad to watch the epic contest. I sat beside a group of people who bought the tickets from the black market and drove to Ahmedabad all the way from Jaipur (Congress-ruled Rajasthan), just to watch the match. Then there were a group of 12 young men who had flown in all the way from San Francisco just to watch Rohit Sharma lift the coveted cup. These two groups had both left the stadium before Maxwell sealed the game for the Aussies. 

I also got frantic calls from people in Ahmedabad for somehow getting them tickets to watch the match in the stadium. They were upset that only people from outside Gujarat got the tickets while folks in Ahmedabad ran pillar to post in their desperate attempt to watch the match in the stadium.

In a nutshell, the crowds at the stadium were cosmopolitan. People from all over the country, including Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Nagpur, Indore, Jaipur, and other big and small towns, travelled to Ahmedabad to witness what they thought would culminate into a historic victory for Team India.

As stated earlier, there were people who travelled from all over the country. When they saw their team losing in the finals, they decided to make up for the time it would take them to reach their hometowns by leaving early and not staying back for the post-match presentation. For instance, the travel from Ahmedabad to Jaipur takes 10-12 hours. People who drove all the way from Jaipur decided to leave early, at around 8 PM, so that they could make it in time to reach Jaipur at around 8-9 AM the other day. Others, too, left the stadium early sensing an imminent Indian defeat and getting to their hometowns early. 

The San Francisco group sitting beside me left because they were jet lagged and they did not want to compromise on their sleep, just to witness the Australian team lift the World Cup for the sixth time. 

But to blame just the ‘Ahmedabad crowd’ for not being gracious enough to stay at the stadium and cheer the rival team for their victory and politicise the occasion to further their deep-seated hatred for PM Modi and Gujaratis requires a special kind of depravity, which is endemic to the Left and the Congress-ecosystem. 

Everyone who left the stadium may or may not have a reasonable reason for their early exit. Even if they don’t, it is downright pathetic of the Left and the Congress ecosystem to defame Ahmedabad and Gujaratis for several thousand spectators not staying back in the stadium to see Australians lift the World Cup. Remember, the Ahmedabad stadium is the world’s largest cricket stadium, with a capacity close to 1,32,000. If some thousand people left the stadium early, it should not be used to generalise bigotry against Gujaratis and Ahmedabad residents.

Moreover, the crowds who came to Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad were ‘Indians’ and not ‘Ahmedabad crowds’ or Gujaratis as the Left would have us believe. They came in to support the Indian team and were left shattered seeing their side capitulating to the mighty Aussies. People from all walks of life, different religions and castes, hailing from differing states, cities, and countries, were present in the stadium.

To just blame ‘Ahmedabad crowds’ reflects the Leftist hate for Gujaratis because a man whom they viscerally hate is the Prime Minister of the country and hails from Gujarat.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Jinit Jain
Jinit Jain
Writer. Learner. Cricket Enthusiast.

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