One of the most famous games in India is cricket. But it is also the greatest cause among men for bringing out toxic misogyny. The Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders match on Wednesday was followed by the latest example of such toxicity. After CSK failed to hunt down the target of 168 set by KKR at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav were on the receiving end of social media trolling. But while aggressive trolling and bullying of players (and even their wives and girlfriends) is a typical reaction of so-called "fans" any time a match is lost by their favourite team, the anger now seems to extend to children and minors. Some tweets and Facebook posts targeting Dhoni's five-year-old daughter also appeared in a shocking incident, as hundreds trolled Dhoni. There were threats of rape and physical abuse, and not just threats.
The threats allegedly appeared in the Instagram accounts of Dhoni and his wife Sakshi after Wednesday's loss. After Dhoni fell for 11 (12) in the 17th over to Chakravarthy, CSK still needed 39 off 21. On the other side, Kedar Jadhav struggled in the middle of the ball, scoring an unbeaten but snail-paced 7 out of 12. In its final 6 deliveries, the equation came down to CSK needing 26. In the final match, Ravindra Jadeja played a cameo over bowled by Andre Russel, but for CSK it was too little too late as KKR emerged winners by a mere 10 runs.
This is, of course, not the first time that the family of a cricketer has had to face online bullying because of their bad results on the pitch. Most recently, because of her husband's bad performance, actress Anuskha Sharma, who is married to current Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, was widely panned on social media. Not only trolls, but also commentator Sunil Gavaskar took a dig at Sharma, alleging that the poor performance of Kohli was due to lack of practise because the lockdown meant that he could only practise with Sharma.