Heartbreaking scenes were witnessed at packed MCG stadium after India, playing in their first Women's T20 World Cup Final, were outperformed in a one-sided affair against Australia, who lifted their fifth title on Sunday.
All eyes were on 16 years and 40 days old Shafali Verma, who jumped the ranks through the course of the tournament and piled up 161 in the league matches. Verma looked visibly distraught when India were reeling at 55/4 and eventually broke down during the presentation ceremony as the visitors faced an 85-run defeat in their first T20 World Cup finals.
Soon after photos of Verma breaking down went viral on social media, former Indian cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi tweeted a message of condolence saying that the girls playing in the finals was a feat in itself and there was no reason to be heartbroken.
However, in the same tweet, he also mentions that the girls should learn to keep a tab on their emotions and avoid crying in public since that's a personal affair.
No need to feel despondent India..U did very well to reach the Finals..& U had plenty of sunshine in Australia..better luck & determination next time..a personal request..girls pl try & avoid showing tears n public..not after losing anyway..tears are a personal property fr ever!— Bishan Bedi (@BishanBedi) March 8, 2020
Cricket fans, nevertheless, defended Verma and team and said that it was okay to cry, irrespective of gender. Since time immemorial, crying has been considered to be a sign of weakness. While social constructs defined by gender dictate that men shouldn't cry in public unless they wanted to come off as "feminine" or frail, women who express emotions have often been called "melodramatic." As one Twitter user pointed out, there is nothing wrong about Verma breaking down on the field because it showed how much the cup meant to her.
What's the issue with crying in public? It mattered a lot to them & to us.— Piyush Kumar Sharma (@Piyusharma2512) March 8, 2020
with all due respect Bishan paaji, there's nothing wrong in showing tears in public— Kanishkaa Balachandran (@kanishkaab) March 8, 2020
Not just women, men can too. People have emotions. They're not robots.— Nishil (@NishilBright) March 8, 2020
It’s ok, tears means it matters— renee montgomery (@rejum) March 8, 2020
Women can cry, there is no shame in it. Our girls are still feminine.— Jayendran Menon (@Dayamaitreya) March 8, 2020