Indian fans are facing a backlash online for their partisan reaction to losing the Cricket World Cup final to Australia on Sunday, perhaps most notably for the way the umpires were booed during the medal ceremony.
Most of the more than 110,000 spectators – the overhwelming majority India supporters – had left the Narendra Modi Stadium in Gujarat long before the trophy was lifted by Australia captain Pat Cummins, who had led his team to their sixth ODI World Cup title.
But boos could clearly be heard from those who remained as field umpires Richard Kettleborough and Richard Illingworth, along with TV umpire Joel Wilson and fourth umpire Chris Gaffney, were called to the podium to receive their own medals for officiating the final.
The reaction baffled those watching and commentating online, with the match hardly marked by any particular moments of refereeing controversy.
The only real incident of note came with a possible LBW call on a Jasprit Bumrah ball to Marnus Labuschagne, which was given not out. A review showed the ball just clipping the leg stump, but with the impact too close to call the final verdict went with the umpire’s original decision.
Richard Kettleborough getting booed when he was on the stage
Biggest panauti of Indian team and he proved once again today. Also, LBW didn't go in our favour with Labuschagne#INDvAUS #CWC2023Final pic.twitter.com/boIAf951N9
— Vinesh Prabhu (@vlp1994) November 19, 2023
Crowd started booing as soon as Richard Kettleborough's name announced. pic.twitter.com/Ec1GtdVgBO
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) November 19, 2023
Some fans also took to social media to criticise Kettleborough, arguing that he had overseen a disproportionate number of Indian losses.
Since 2013, India has lost 10 ICC Touranments and 8/10 times 'Richard kettleborough' was on field or TV umpire. pic.twitter.com/WLbqwFp1LT
— Sayam Ahmad (@sayam_ahmad_) November 19, 2023
But others took to social media to slam the fans involved, calling the incident “a disgrace to cricket”.
“That’s just pathetic and immature from the Indian crowd at Ahmadabad,” wrote one social media user.
Booing umpires and officials at a presentation of a World Cup final!!
That’s just pathetic and immature from the Indian crowd at Ahmadabad!
Have a little bit of dignity and respect, you wouldn’t have a game without officials#INDvAUS #CWC23 #CWC2023Final
— Jack Rule (@JackRuleLD) November 19, 2023
There was also criticism online for the way the crowd reacted to Travis Head reaching his century, on his way to a player-of-the-match performance that saw him become only the third Australian player after Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting to hit 100 runs at the World Cup Final.
“Some 80 people among the 11000+ [sic] at the Narendra Modi Stadium clapped their hands together as Travis Head raised his bat after reaching his 50,” wrote sports writer Bharat Sundaresan on X, formerly known as Twitter.
He added: “If the WTC knock at The Oval was special, this one, is extraordinary & the quietest reception you’ll ever hear for a World Cup final century.”
Has a brilliant hundred on such a massive occasion
Been greeted with such ambivalence?
— simon hughes (@theanalyst) November 19, 2023
Former Middlesex bowler Simon Hughes asked: “Has a brilliant hundred on such a massive occasion [ever] been greeted with such ambivalence?”