Former cricketer Gautam Gambhir staunchly defended his response to a purportedly provocative crowd during the recent India-Pakistan match at the illustrious Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy. A video, now viral on social media, depicts Gambhir exiting the stadium whilst displaying visible signs of disapproval.
While some contended that the crowd’s chants were in support of ‘Dhoni’ and ‘Kohli’, Gambhir refuted such assertions, asserting that the veracity of social media depictions remains dubious. “What transpires on social media is often far removed from reality, as individuals are inclined to curate their narratives,” Gambhir articulated in an exclusive interview with news agency ANI.
Gambhir, who concurrently holds the mantle of a BJP Member of Parliament, asserted that amidst the crowd, a contingent of 2-3 individuals from Pakistan espoused anti-India rhetoric, especially concerning the Kashmir issue. “It was a natural reflex on my part. I cannot countenance any disparaging commentary against my motherland. My reaction was unequivocal,” Gambhir elucidated.
He further implored attendees of cricket matches to channel their energy towards supporting their respective teams, refraining from invoking political discourse or discussing sensitive geopolitical matters, including the contentious Kashmir issue. In his candid advisory to the spectatorship, he iterated, “When you convene to spectate a cricket match, let your allegiance be to your team and nation. There exists no need to broach discussions concerning the country or Kashmir.”
In a pensive response to Gambhir’s defense, Shahzeb Khan, a perceptive denizen of social media, expressed skepticism, positing that both sides of the narrative remain enigmatic. He deliberated, “Perhaps Gambhir’s assertions hold validity, or perhaps they mask a more intricate verity. The malleability of videos on social media permits their facile manipulation, all while individuals might undergo a metamorphosis of statements to substantiate their claims. The intricacy of it all is truly confounding.”
The much-anticipated India-Pakistan cricket encounter was slated for Saturday; however, incessant rainfall in Kandy led to the unfortunate abandonment of the game, much to the dismay of fans from both nations.