Former India cricketer Kirti Azad raised objections to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s presence in the dressing room consoling players after India’s defeat to Australia in the World Cup final. The criticism emerged as a video of PM Modi encouraging and motivating players inside the dressing room went viral on social media.
Kirti Azad, a current member of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and a part of the 1983 World Cup-winning squad, expressed the opinion that the Prime Minister should have met the team in a private visitors area rather than entering the dressing room.
Taking to Twitter, the 64-year-old directed his message to the International Cricket Council (ICC), stating, “The dressing room is the sanctum sanctorum of any team. @ICC does not allow anybody to enter these rooms apart from the players and the support staff. PM of India should have met the team outside the dressing room in the private visitors area.”
Kirti Azad, emphasizing his perspective as a sportsman and not a politician, questioned whether PM Modi would allow his supporters to console or congratulate him in his private spaces.
Azad’s tweet continued, highlighting the discipline of sportspeople compared to politicians. He used the hashtag #Panauti and made a pointed reference to the exclusion of the 1983 World Cup-winning captain, Kapil Dev, from the consoling session.
Azad concluded by asking, “Now tell me who is doing politics?” The cricketer’s stance underscores the sensitivity of private team spaces and the distinction he draws between political and sporting realms, questioning the appropriateness of political figures entering the intimate sanctuaries of athletes in moments of defeat.
The dressing room is the
sanctum sanctorum of any
team. @ICC does not allow anybody
to enter these rooms apart
from the players and the
PM of India should have met
the team outside the dressing
room in the private visitors
I say this as a…
— Kirti Azad (@KirtiAzaad) November 21, 2023
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Indian cricket team in their dressing room after they suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the ICC Cricket World Cup final on Sunday. Modi met with India captain Rohit Sharma, batting superstar Virat Kohli, and other players, including head coach Rahul Dravid, as he consoled them. With the India players wearing a dejected look, Modi shook their hands, pointed out how they won 10 matches in a row, and even joked with Jasprit Bumrah, asking if he knows Gujarati
“You guys have won 10 matches. It happens,” PM Narendra Modi told Rohit and Kohli. He hugged the competition’s highest wicket-taker Mohammed Shami. “Shami, you did very well this time,” Modi said. He then addressed them briefly, motivating them and inviting the players to meet him in Delhi whenever they’re free.
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