Hello, Bengal Express!
It has been a rough summer so far, hasn't it? IPL 2019 has unexpectedly brought some tough times for you. Online trolling more than often crosses limits, living on the lines of vulgarity and cynicism. But, we can safely state it's a vocal minority. And, an even fewer population would ever make such lewd comments that you've had to face on social media recently. Most of us fans don't enjoy such stuff.
On the other hand, we still remember you coming up through the ranks in the initial years of this decade, bowling a heavy short ball, and taking the red cherry away from the right-handed batsmen. Then, we didn't know your story. But we still knew that this lean, unorthodox pacer could take a big leap, and bowl with a big heart.
We know your story now. We know now what hurdles you had to cross to get to play in the blue jersey, coming from a small village, Noichunpur in Bengal. It's been unsurprising to see you get to 400 First-Class wickets and be Bengal's top performer for years. And, it's been a pleasure to see Ashoke Dinda's name in the record lists, season after season in Indian domestic cricket.
We were saddened as well to see that you had to come up with your career statistics to silence the trolls. It should have never gone that far. But, the people you refer to, are far from the reality of the Indian cricket's fanbase. You'd know, again, from all the support you have received on social media that we adore our heroes. You are one of them. We'd have loved to see you play in the 2019 edition of the IPL.
Though some of the happenings recently have been in bad taste. Especially since some media outlets and an IPL franchise have shown irresponsibility, sharing content related to the "Dinda Academy." But then, we only criticize people who have done meaningful things. Your legacy is beyond these online memes. You'd have inspired many youngsters who have played with and against you. We tune in to domestic matches to see you bowl. And, we were left praying when you got hit on the face earlier this year.
Finally, we would like to thank you. Thank you for standing up when the situation demanded. We expect nothing else from a fast bowler. Somebody needed to bring unhealthy trolling into the limelight, and you've got everyone talking.
Ishant Sharma, who has been one of the troll-picks on social media platforms, revealed that he cried for 15 days straight after losing a match for India. He had been brutally trolled for the same. Few people do cross the line. It's a nod to you that you've stood up. But, we hope it's the end of the trolling that's in poor taste.
We wish you the best of luck in representing Bengal. Indian cricket and its fans appreciate everything you've done for the game.