For all cricket fans who watched the ICC 2019 Cricket World Cup final between England and New Zealand, a feeling of emotional exhaustion must have been experienced. The match witnessed a saturation of thrill and excitement and eventually, England won the World Cup thanks to hitting more boundaries.
As would be imagined, the ICC's social media pages were buzzing with excitement. But during this event, the team handling these pages, especially, the Twitter feed, have got into controversy over a couple of tweets that were construed as offensive to some section of the fans.
First it was a GIF poking fun at Pakistan's unrealistic chance of qualifying for the semi-finals during their last league-stage game. Then, a tweet containing the video of MS Dhoni's run-out in the semi-final with the caption 'Hasta la Vista, Dhoni' led to some outrage in the Indian media.
But after the presentation ceremony of the final, there was another tweet on the Cricket World Cup Twitter page – the official handle for the event – which is bound to offend some die-hard fans of Sachin Tendulkar.
The master blaster was one of the dignitaries at the presentation ceremony and presented the man-of-the-match award to Ben Stokes. A picture of the Indian legend giving the award to Stokes was shared by the above-mentioned Twitter handle with the caption: "The greatest cricketer of all time - and Sachin Tendulkar" with a winking smiley next to it.
Now, one can safely argue that the tweet has no intention of insulting Tendulkar and is just a cheeky way to celebrate the brilliance of Stokes. However, there is another reason why the text can be regarded as irresponsible.
Yes, Stokes is a magnificent cricketer. Yes, he is the finest all-rounder in the game right now. Yes, he could even, one day, be regarded as the greatest all-rounder that England has ever produced. But, can he really be called "The greatest cricketer of all time?"
It is a preposterous suggestion. Just think about the contenders for that title. No one can make a more just claim to that appellation than Sir Garfield Sobers. What about Sir Donald Bradman? Both these legends are unsurpassed in terms of their achievements.
It is clearly a case of someone in the ICC team getting carried away with the excitement and going a bit too far in celebrating Stokes. This is a time to salute the brilliance of Stokes and of England and not get into such idiotic comparisons.