Ashoke Dinda has been a successful medium pace bowler for Bengal in domestic cricket. His international career, unfortunately, never flourished. For most ardent followers of Indian cricket, the most enduring memory of him might be getting hit for a six on the last ball of a T20I match at Wankhede Stadium by Eoin Morgan when his team needed 5 to win.
This seems to have left a rather negative image of the right-arm pacer as a profligate and incompetent bowler. In these days of social media, a stereotype can become popular very quickly and that's what has happened to Dinda also. During the ongoing season of IPL, every time a bowler has proven to be expensive or failed to deliver at crucial times, he has been declared a member of 'Dinda Academy' by the Twitterati.
For a long time, these kinds of references were limited to fans. But on April 24, after Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Kings XI Punjab with Umesh Yadav picking up three wickets and bowling well in the final over, even the official Twitter handle of RCB put out a tweet which read: 'Dinda Academy? What's that?' with a picture of Umesh below. This followed the reaction of fans to an earlier match where the RCB bowler almost failed to defend 26 runs in the last over against a rampaging Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Yadav had been announced as a member of 'Dinda Academy' on social media at that time.
This provocation from an official Twitter handle proved too much for the Bengal seamer and he vented his spleen on Instagram. His post had a very clear message for those who decided to have a chuckle at his expense: "Haters, helping you get you statistics right. Stop and stare well your opinion is not my reality. So shut your hating selves and keep me out of your mouth." This text was attached to a picture showing his IPL record: 78 matches, 75 innings, 69 wickets, economy of 8.20 and average of 30.04.
The RCB twitter page had removed the tweet well before this outburst from Dinda. The reactions from the fans to Dinda's rebuke are, as would be expected, of a mixed nature. Some have backed the bowler while some feel he has been too sensitive. Some, meanwhile, continue to poke fun at him.
But it is undeniable that judging Dinda on the basis of a few performances is wrong. The 35-year old has played 115 first-class matches and picked 417 wickets. In 92 List A games, he grabbed 141 scalps while his overall T20 record features 146 wickets in 144 games. He was able to represent India in 13 ODIs and 9 T20Is without any ground-shaking performance.