The Cricket World Cup 2023 semi-finals are just around the corner, and supporters are ecstatic. So far, India has dominated the World Cup season. Bowlers like Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, as well as hitters like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, demonstrate their credentials in front of the globe. The Indian cricket squad has been outstanding this season.
However, most fans are dissatisfied with Star Sports, the official broadcaster of the Cricket World Cup, which is centred on one man: Virat Kohli, who recently celebrated his 35th birthday. And it's improbable that the IND versus SA match occurred accidentally on Virat Kohli's birthday. This is similar to how the Mumbai Indians used to receive IPL matches on Sachin Tendulkar's birthday, April 24th, when he played in the IPL.
Because of their overemphasis on one player, Virat Kohli, Star Sports has received a lot of flak, criticism, and trolling from fans. Star Sports appears to be more of a hype machine for Virat Kohli than a Cricket World Cup broadcaster.
Not that Kohli has asked for any of it; in fact, Kohli is not one to seek attention: it has been learned that the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) had planned an extravagant celebration of Kohli's birthday, including the distribution of over 50,000 Kohli face masks to fans in Eden Gardens and the cutting of a large cake, but then cancelled everything.
Image Source: Twitter
Star Sports will also not be showing much cricket in the next years, since they have lost the rights to the IPL and the Indian international men's home season for the next five years. So they've doubled down on their material on the channel's face: Virat Kohli.
So much so that the build-up to the IND versus SA game has taken a back seat because nearly everything on their channels has been moulded into the Kohli mould. Even the ex-players, who are there to provide their experience-based critique on the game and all cricketers, may become annoyed and exhausted after a while.
The exaltation of one individual is also extremely demeaning to other Indian sportsmen. Rohit Sharma is the captain; Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been India's best bowlers in the tournament; Ravindra Jadeja has twice been robbed of the Man of the Match award; KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer have been the unsung heroes; Kuldeep Yadav, Shubman Gill, and Suryakumar Yadav are yet to even peak in the tournament, while Mohammed Siraj is bringing as much energy on the field as Kohli.
Rohit Sharma scored 131, 87, 88, and 48 in these victories, yet he was not even included in the shot. Despite this, these players receive far less attention than the KING.
Just days before India's vital semi-final match, Rohit Sharma supporters have launched an attack on the World Cup's official broadcaster, Star Sports, accusing the TV station of prejudice in favour of Kohli.
Fans of Rohit Sharma appear to be upset that their hero was not featured in Star Sports' list of 'Favorite 5' players, which also includes Steve Smith of Australia, Kane Williamson of New Zealand, Joe Root of England, Virat Kohli of India, and Babar Azam of Pakistan. They believed it was unjust to the Indian captain, who they felt should have been among the top five hitters in the world.
These are some Twitter reactions and clashes of memes and posts.
The Pakistani news channel 'A Sports''s show 'The Pavilion' has received a lot of acclaim from fans on social media after a video of Shoabi Malik breaking down the technical components of Babar Azam and Virat Kohli's batting, or problems, against spinners went viral. Fans commended Malik and A Sports for their amazing technical and cricketing expertise, which was shared by the ex-cricketers on Star Sports.