Social media presence is a dangerous thing these days. Even worse are the limitless personal attacks that you are supposedly given a free platform to indulge in. The rise of hate speech and fake news has been fuelled considerably by the no-restrictions platform offered by the biggest social media spheres. And uncontrolled spewing of hate has not hit the Indian Women’s Cricket team the day they lost out to England to get knocked out of the Women’s T20 World Cup in the semi-finals.
Before the match began, critics and enthusiasts alike were baffled at the decision of dropping out Mithali Raj– India’s experienced former captain, from an all-important game like this. So, naturally when the result did not go India’s way, fingers were pointed at the decision making persons on the current Indian team- mostly captain Harmanpreet Kaur and coach Ramesh Powar, for getting too carried away by the wave of recent good performances which might have led to this decision. However, Mithali Raj’s media manager went a tad bit too far on social media.
In a series of tweets which have since been deleted, Raj’s manager Annisha Gupta reportedly called Harmanpreet a “manipulative, lying, immature, undeserving captain.” Now, her account seems to be missing from public access on Twitter as well but Gupta has confirmed that she did send out those tweets to ESPN CricInfo.
“Unfortunately, the Indian women’s Cricket Team believes in politics and not sport,” she reportedly wrote. “After witnessing what Mithali Raj’s experience could do in India vs Ireland, it’s shocking they went with what pleases Harmanpreet Kaur- a manipulative, lying, immature, undeserving captain.”
ESPN CricInfo further reported that she also labelled Harmanpreet Kaur a “manipulative, lying cheat.” In the same report by ESPN CricInfo, Gupta was quoted as defending her comments saying that “they came from the right place.”
“I’d like to say that I don’t know what is going on on the inside but, now that the matches are being telecast, we can see who is performing and who is not,” Gupta told ESPNcricinfo. “And we can see the kind of treatment that Mithali has received despite her brilliant performance and despite showing stability and consistency. The kind of treatment she has received is completely uncalled for and there is something deeper than we need to look at than just the statements that have been coming out.
“There are statements coming out that they wanted to give younger cricketers a chance but you don’t drop your senior-most, most experienced players in a semi-final against a country like England. It goes beyond giving the youngsters a chance.”