Is It Fair To Target Cricketers' Wives For Their Asia Cup Performance?

For ages we have seen a man's mistakes being blamed on his wife, claiming that it is the issues at home that keep him from performing well at work.

Avishka Tandon
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T20 World Cup Sanjana Ganesan Savage Reply
Team India is going through a bad streak at the ongoing Asia Cup 2022. The men in blue not only lost a high-profile match to Pakistan but also faced defeat at hands of Sri Lanka back-to-back. Fans are naturally upset with cricketers displaying a lack of confidence on the field. But is it fair to target the wives of these players for their poor performance?

Recently, TV presenter and model Sanjana Ganesan came under the radar of trolls when she posted a picture with her cricketer husband Jasprit Bumrah. India lost its second Asia Cup 2022 match against Pakistan on September 4 and it was expected for the players to get trolled and blamed. A day later, on September 5, Sanjana Ganesan uploaded a throwback picture with her husband on her Instagram and a troll decided to target the couple by somehow linking it with India's loss in the previous match.

Sanjana Ganesan Trolled: Why Are Cricketer's Wives Easy Targets?

A troll wrote in a comment under the picture, "Waha IND ki ma bahin pade hui hai or yeh gum rahe". Ganesan, not the kind to let such abuse slide, hit back at the troll and wrote, "throwback photo hai dikhta nahi hai kya, chomu aadmi?". She also posted a story later in which she highlighted how trolls don't belong to certain community, religion or ethnicity and are just people without any sense. Ganesan added that she will keep standing up to these trolls 'one chomu aadmi at a time'.

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This is not the first time that a cricketer's wife has been trolled for her husband's performance on field, or that of the whole team. We have seen Anushka Sharma, Natasa Stankovic and Dhanashree Verma getting brutally trolled for their cricketer husband's bad form on field or simply removing their surname. This mentality to hold women accountable for their husbands' performance is rooted in patriarchy. For ages we have seen a man's mistakes being blamed on his wife, claiming that it is the issues at home that keep him from performing well at work.

Working women have always been told to maintain a work-life balance and not bring household issues to work. However, for a man, his wife is expected to keep all his worries away from him so he can focus on his career. The wives are expected to adjust their lifestyle in a way that men do not have to worry about household duties. That is why, whenever a man falters at his job, people assume that he is being distracted from work by his wife. It is just that we only find this misplacement of blame problematic only when it happens to a public figure.

When it comes to public figures, trolls really don't think twice before cornering and trolling them. They don't realise what effect their unsolicited opinion will have on their mental health. Post India-Pakistan match, we saw cricketer Arshdeep Singh getting trolled for missing the catch of Pakistan's Asif Ali. He was called 'Khalistani', traitor and people said that he dropped the catch on purpose.

If Indians follow cricket so religiously, it is important for them to respect the players equally. They should understand that it is just a game, sometimes it is in your favour and sometimes in favour of your opponent. But making personal and hurtful remarks on a person and his family is not a solution or a way of coping with defeat. Targeting wives is a misogynistic move that is not expected from the progressive society that we claim to be.

Views express are the author's own.

Asia Cup Team India Sanjana Ganesan