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‘Disgraceful’ fans boo umpires during medal ceremony after Australia beat India in Cricket World Cup final

Jasprit Bumrah and Shubman Gill interact with Match Umpire Richard Kettleborough during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup India 2023 Fina (Getty Images)
Jasprit Bumrah and Shubman Gill interact with Match Umpire Richard Kettleborough during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup India 2023 Fina (Getty Images)

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.

Some fans also took to social media to criticise Kettleborough, arguing that he had overseen a disproportionate number of Indian losses.

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.

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.”

Former Middlesex bowler Simon Hughes asked: “Has a brilliant hundred on such a massive occasion [ever] been greeted with such ambivalence?”