Sportspersons try. At times they succeed. At times they fail. The success-failure eventually determines their legacy. But they try. A popular saying goes by, “If they deserve the laurels and accolades, they should also be prepared for the brickbats.”

The emotions travel a pendulum path for India-Pakistan games. If it’s a final, for fans it’s no less than war. India’s defeat in hands of Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final was received with extreme reactions. Just like another human being from the planet Earth, Jasprit Bumrah had one bad day in the office. And he became a subject of ridicule.

It was his ‘no-ball’ that produced the edge of Pakistan’s centurion Fakhar Zaman that carried to MS Dhoni’s gloves. The batsman walked back. The umpire was fine. Only a third umpire intervention proved that Bumrah had overstepped. Zaman paved the way for Pakistan’s 338 and the win.

The dim-witted armchair fans that are out aplenty fail to notice that even the umpire had erred, and it was Bumrah’s skill that produced the chance. Making scapegoats is an easy job. Bumrah’s one off day became his reason for the escalating unpopularity. ALSO READ: Jasprit Bumrah’s no-ball used by Faisalabad’s traffic police for safety campaign

At 23, Bumrah has 59 international wickets form 40 matches at 21.59. He has emerged as one of the finest death bowlers in the game. He has replaced Lasith Malinga as Mumbai Indian’s preferred death bowler. All of it counted to nothing and the young kid on whose shoulders rest hopes of India’s bowling fortunes became a subject of hate jokes.

Remember, a young Zaheer Khan and an experienced Javagal Srinath had failed to rise to the occasion of the 2003 World Cup final.

The buck did not stop for the fans. From Jaipur to across the border in Peshawar, police have used Bumrah’s no-ball still for road safety campaign. ‘Don’t cross the line. You know it can be costly,’ reads the Jaipur billboard at the bus stand.

A hurt Bumrah reacted to the same on Twitter:

Police have certain responsibility towards the society. Cricket isn’t just a sport in India and creates role models. To make mockery of a rising star for an error that has been amplified in a negative way speaks volumes of irresponsibility of police towards the society.

It is easy to forget that a 23-year-old was representing a nation against a good side and battling nerves. Celebrities are easy targets and scapegoats. Would they have done the same for a politician?

Senses prevail

But good senses prevailed, finally. The Jaipur traffic police in return apologised to the 23-year-old bowler, calling Bumrah an inspiration for the youth.

 

Bumrah has made a statement with his tweets by not crossing the line of rudeness or sarcasm with his tweets. In return, he has got an apology as well. It remains to be seen if Jaipur Police make an example out of this and go on to remove the billboard as well.