Two people died in the hours following Australia’s victory in the Cricket World Cup final on Monday morning in India.
The host country has been plunged into deep sadness after their cricket side was upset in the final — having been on an undefeated win streak heading into the decider in Ahmedabad.
Australia was pure class with Pat Cummins’ team delivering when it mattered most to silence the 100,000 fans watching inside the Narendra Modi Stadium.
There were heartbreaking scenes after the final with Indian players and fans seen in tears.
In a cricket-obsessed country like India, the toll of the defeat is still being realised.
According to local reports, the deaths of two people can be traced back to the defeat.
As first reported by Indian social media cricket figure Mufaddal Vohra, one man suffered a heart attack while watching the game and later died.
According to The Hindustan Times a 32-year-old software engineer died of a heart attack in Tirupati after the loss.
According to World Is One News, a 23-year-old man from West Bengal also took his own life as a result of the defeat.
Cricket is so much more than a game in India, and the hurt of the defeat has been overwhelming for some. There have also been ugly scenes with cricket figures – and even the wives of Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head – receiving abuse on social media.
Fast-bowler Mohammed Shami’s mum was rushed to hospital before the game, reportedly because of her body unable to deal with the nerves. Shami, who was named in the official ICC Team of the Tournament on Tuesday, only learned about his mum’s condition after the match finished.
There were difficult scenes inside the Indian team’s dressing room as well.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was seen inside the locker room consoling players, and one photo showed Shami in an emotional state while he was embraced by the Indian leader.
The country is now trying to pick up the pieces and have just days to do it before the controversial T20 series against Australia begins on Thursday night.
Indian and Australian cricket officials have been widely criticised for organising the series just a few days after both team’s taxing World Cup campaigns.
Suryakumar Yadav will captain India in the five-match T20 series, leading a squad with just three members of the team that lost the World Cup final.
Rohit Sharma’s team was outplayed by Australia, suffering a six-wicket defeat and breaking the hearts of millions across the country.
Suryakumar, who was just one of three players from the one-day team to be selected for the T20 squad, will captain India for the first time.
India and Australia had also faced each other in a three-match series in September ahead of the World Cup, also in India, which the hosts won 2-1.
The T20 series opens Thursday in Visakhapatnam in the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh, followed by Thiruvananthapuram on November 26 and Guwahati on November 28.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said that Shreyas Iyer will join the squad as vice-captain for the last two T20s, in Raipur on December 1 and in Bengaluru on December 5.
— with AFP