Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir has faced incessant criticism in the past for his bigotry on several occasions. Last year, the controversial cricketer, who has also campaigned for the BJP in the past, was mercilessly trolled after he came up with a dangerous definition of colours of the Indian national flag.
He had written, “Anti-Indians hav forgotten dat our flag also stands 4: saffron – fire of our anger, white – shroud for jihadis, green – hatred 4 terror. (sic)”
He was recently in the news after he took on former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal with many ridiculing him for desperately seeking a Lok Sabha ticket to contest polls from Delhi next year.
The former India player has now courted fresh controversy for selectively targeting former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin on his past involvement in match-fixing. Gambhir took to Twitter to lash out at the BCCI, CAB and CoA for allowing Azharuddin to ring the bell at the Eden Gardens on Sunday ahead of India’s T20 match against the West Indies. He wrote, “India may have won today at Eden but I am sorry @bcci, CoA &CAB lost. Looks like the No Tolerance Policy against Corrupt takes a leave on Sundays! I know he was allowed to contest HCA polls but then this is shocking….The bell is ringing, hope the powers that be are listening.”
India may have won today at Eden but I am sorry @bcci, CoA &CAB lost. Looks like the No Tolerance Policy against Corrupt takes a leave on Sundays! I know he was allowed to contest HCA polls but then this is shocking….The bell is ringing, hope the powers that be are listening. pic.twitter.com/0HKbp2Bs9r
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) November 4, 2018
Accompanied by CAB Joint Secretary Avishek Dalmiya, Azhar had rung the bell just after the national anthems were played for both India and the West Indies. India went on to win the match.
Soon after Gambhir posted his tweet, many of his followers on the microblogging site detected an open hatred for Muslims because of his selective outrage on a tainted former player because of his Muslim name. Angered by Gambhir’s explicit support, many of his followers have begun unfollowing him on Twitter.
User Prithvi wrote, “Sreesanth contested on a BJP ticket during Kerala assembly elections .!! But you wont utter a word.” User Shahnawaz tweeted, “Had great respect for you but this is uncalled for.” User Berbatoc used hashtag #RespectYourSenior to write, “GG, you have disappointed me big time. Politics n all is fine but at least you must had respected the values of that game which gave you everything.” User Rohit Patil commented, “Even
@narendramodi got clean cheat from court for Gujarat 2002. Would you dare say he wasn’t involved?”
In response, a Twitter handle, identified as Team Gautam Gambhir wrote, “Religion? Politics? Sreeshant is: Hindu. Sreeshant is: BJP supporter. Following or unfollowing him. Respecting or not respecting him. Will not stop Gautam Gambhir to raise his voice against injustice. Simple.”
One of the reasons behind inviting Azhar, who also represented Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad parliamentary constituency between 2004 and 2009, was that Eden Gardens holds a special place for him. While making his international debut here, he had scored a superb century against England by narrowly missing out on his maiden double-hundred by 18 runs. In 1996, Azhar had scored what was the fastest Test century then, in 74 balls against South Africa at the Eden Gardens.
He is also the only cricketer till date in the history to score three consecutive centuries in his first three Test matches as Indian batsman. He also scored another brilliant century in 1993 to secure a victory for India in the Test match at this iconic stadium.