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  Sports   In Other sports  14 Jun 2017  Minnows won’t mince words

Minnows won’t mince words

THE ASIAN AGE. | PRATYUSH PATRA
Published : Jun 14, 2017, 12:24 am IST
Updated : Jun 14, 2017, 12:24 am IST

Before an India-Bangladesh clash, fans from the neighbouring country get on with the job of trolling India.

A spoof of the Mauka Mauka ad mocking India for its defeats against Bangladesh.
 A spoof of the Mauka Mauka ad mocking India for its defeats against Bangladesh.

Every time India plays against Pakistan, there’s huge intensity even outside the field. The recent war of words waged by India’s Virender Sehwag and Pakistan’s Rashid Latif is a topical example. Many would hope for a dream final where the archrivals lock horns once again. But for that to happen, India would have to beat Bangladesh, a team not content with staging upsets and trying to shed its ‘minnows’ tag. The Bangladeshi fans rally behind their players and don’t shy away from taking on Indian fans on social media. On Tuesday, a picture of a dog draped in the Tricolour while being chased by a tiger with a Bangladeshi national flag on it, went viral. That apart, the social media is full of memes mocking the Indian team. However, experts tell us that it’s all in good humour.

However, it is not the first time Bangladesh has done it. After registering a historic 2-1 ODI series win against India at home in 2015, a section of the local media went overboard. A daily came up with a distasteful caricature of top Indian players, including MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli with their head half shaven, standing under the towering presence of bowler Mustafizur Rahman. He was shown holding an industrial cutter in the ad. Bangladesh fans also made a spoof of the Mauka Mauka ad series and mocked India for its defeat in 2007 World Cup and 2012 Asia Cup.

While it may take Bangladesh many years to replace Pakistan as our cricketing nemesis, their supporters have chosen an arena i.e. social media, where they are certainly giving it back to India. But Indians don’t mind the fun. Ad man Prahlad Kakkar says, “It’s all good sport. It’s creative space and there’s no big deal in trolling one another. Both Pepsi and Coca Cola were at each other’s throat and they both went laughing to the bank. Such banter is good for the game and Bangladesh is not a bitter enemy like Pakistan. The cricket field becomes a war in case of Pakistan but in this case, we can tolerate their trolls.”  

Salil Ankola, cricketer-turned-actor, believes that Bangladesh fans often get carried away by the josh. He says, “There can be upsets but India is in a prolific form and is certain to win. Such trolls reveal Bangladesh’s insecurities. For them to play the semi-final is a one-off thing and it is their adrenaline rush talking. But such energy is nice for the game.”     

Not long ago, there was an ad that showed Bangladesh as a kid learning the game and one day, it does manage  to hit a six to which other kids, representing cricketing giants like India, comment: ‘Bachcha ab bachcha nahi raha.’ The neighbours, however, didn’t appreciate the comment on their rise. The retort came in the form of #BambooIsOn campaign where Bamboo in colloquial Bengali means to sc**w. Once a section of Bangladeshi fans even harassed well-known Indian fan Sudhir Chaudhary in Dhaka. While the team would be eager to avenge their one-run loss in 2016 T20 World Cup against India, Bangladesh fans have always given Indians fans stiff competition on the social media ground.

Comedian Sorabh Pant says that he is a big fan of the underdogs and adds, “My favourite part of cricket is to heckle each other. Bangladesh is not a minnow today and their cockiness tends to work on Indian minds. If I were a Bangladeshi fan, I would totally go after the Indian fans. It’s damn good fun and I am absolutely for it till it doesn’t get racist.” 

Tags: virender sehwag, virat kohli, ms dhoni, minnows, mauka mauka