Ravichandran Ashwin-Herschelle Gibbs Twitter banter takes an ugly turn
What's the story?
After being trolled on Twitter for his rather slow speed on the field by former South African cricketer Herschelle Gibbs, Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin responded with a match-fixing jibe directed at Gibbs. However, the Kings XI Punjab bowler took down his tweet soon thereafter.
While Ashwin was promoting his partnership with Nike on the social media platform, Gibbs decided to troll the Indian cricketer with the following tweet:
Ashwin clearly did not like the joke and in a response to Gibbs's tweet, posted the following words:
"Surely not as fast you did mate, unfortunately, I wasn’t as blessed as you were. But I was blessed with a wonderfully ethical mind not to fix games which put food on my plate."
In case you didn't know...
When South Africa toured India back in 2000, Gibbs was implicated in a match-fixing scandal that was orchestrated by the then Proteas skipper, Hansie Cronje.
However, the South African opener's involvement in the controversy could not be proved as he denied to operate under his captain's words. However, Gibbs was still suspended from international cricket for six months due to his failure to come forward with the same.
After Ashwin took a rather slashing dig at the former opening batsman, Gibbs salvaged the situation by backing out, with this tweet:
To this, the Tamil Nadu cricketer responded in a surprising fashion, implying that his words were also meant to be taken as a joke.
Ashwin's attempt to diffuse the situation did not make any impact, as he is currently facing serious backlash for his tweets regarding the matter. Many Indian and international cricket fans are criticizing the off-spinner heavily for the same.
To defend his actions and to explain why he deleted the tweet containing the match-fixing jibe, he posted this explanatory (and jabbing) tweet:
You would hope that this awkward and unnecessary exchange between the two cricketers will not go on any further. It has already caused a lot of uproar, and cricket can definitely survive without such needless negativity.
While lighthearted Twitter banter between two sportsmen is always heartwarming for the fans, ugly jokes of this kind may have a negative impact on them as well as their image. Ashwin might've been joking the whole time, but his jibe clearly crossed the line, which led to unwarranted hatred on the platform.
International cricketers must ensure that they take their responsibilities as public figures with utter seriousness, as many youngsters, as well as adults, look up to them in every sense of the term. They shouldn't send out the wrong message to such people, but instead, uphold the spirit of the gentleman's game on and off the field.