An image of Australian allrounder Mitchell Marsh celebrating Cricket globe Cup victory with his feet up on the trophy has infuriated Indian fans, but the rest of the globe is baffled.
India was undefeated throughout the competition, but fell at the last hurdle, losing to Australia by six wickets in Ahmedabad.
The loss was difficult to accept in a country where cricket is religion, much like the All Blacks losing a Rugby World Cup here in New Zealand, and the social media post of Marsh using the trophy as a footstool sent many fans over the edge.
The image was seen over 4 million times, with comments labeling Marsh’s antics “disrespectful” and one calling for a lifetime ban from Indian cricket, where Marsh has been a regular feature in the Indian Premier League.
Elsewhere, the Indian reaction has been characterized as resentment over yet another wasted opportunity to lift a major cricketing prize.
“To be honest, I didn’t realize there was an issue with the Indian people and different culture when I first saw that photo,” rugby league coaching veteran Sir Graham Lowe told AM.
“I can understand the player sitting back, relaxed, feeling so proud of himself and his team, putting his foot up… it just happened to be there.” I’m sure he would never intend to offend anyone or the game.
“It’s just one of those things.”
“We have a saying in Samoa… that means disrespectful, but also not thinking,” Auckland councillor Josephine Bartley remarks.
“He didn’t think about what he was doing.”
Sir Graham will have witnessed numerous trophy celebrations over his career, including victory by the New Zealand Kiwis over Australia, English championships with Wigan, and State of Origin success with Queensland.
“You’ve got to remember, there would have been quite a bit drunk out of that trophy over the years too,” he went on to say. “It’s not only a footstool, it’s a big wine glass.”
Michael O’Keeffe, a former Olympic footballer and AM news reader, dismisses the subject.
“It’s sacred because they haven’t touched it since 2011, the Indians that is,” he went on to say. “A tornado in a teacup.”
“Come on India, be better.”