Times Now Calls Cricketers Ornamental Patriots! Waste of Airtime?
File photo of Virat Kohli. (Photo: AP/Altered by The Quint/Liju Joseph) 
File photo of Virat Kohli. (Photo: AP/Altered by The Quint/Liju Joseph) 

Times Now Calls Cricketers Ornamental Patriots! Waste of Airtime?

The Indian hockey team (players and support staff) wore black armbands during their Hockey World League Semi-Final Pool B match against Pakistan on Sunday, to condemn the recent attacks on the Indian Army on the Jammu and Kashmir border.

If the Indian hockey team showed their support to the Indian Army, then obviously the next question is, did the Indian cricket team wear black armbands as well? Didn’t they play a match against Pakistan on the same day?

A leading Indian TV channel Times Now took objection to the fact that the cricket team didn’t wear black armbands during the ICC Champions Trophy final against Pakistan on Sunday, and decided to have a Newshour Debate on the ‘issue’, calling the members of the Indian cricket team ‘Ornamental Patriots’.

Twitterati Hit Back at Times Now

Times Now wasn’t going to be let off by Tweeple. Here’s how they reacted to Times Now’s atrocious reporting.

Times Now Forget to Check ICC’S Code of Conduct

It may have been a great gesture on the Indian hockey team’s part to show their support for the Indian Army.

But, the fact that Times Now forgot or didn’t bother to check, was that even if the Indian team wanted to wear black armbands, that couldn’t have – because according to ICC’s code of conduct, players are not allowed to wear armbands for political causes.

If the players turned up with black armbands for the Champions Trophy final against Pakistan, then it would seem that they are wearing the armband for a cause against Pakistan, since the soldiers were killed on the India-Pakistan border.

England’s all-rounder Moeen Ali was once asked to remove his wristband during a Test match against India in 2014 because the slogans "Save Gaza" and "Free Palestine" were written on it.

ICC Code of Conduct. (Source: <a href="https://www.icc-cricket.com/about/cricket/rules-and-regulations/playing-conditions">ICC</a>)
ICC Code of Conduct. (Source: ICC)

There were so many other issues or topics the Times Now editorial team could have chosen for their Newshour Debate, but they went with something that didn’t require a debate at all.

They wasted their time mocking the Indian team with meaningless pleas with #CricketersForgetBraves on their Twitter handle as well.

Forcing Mics on Hardik Pandya and Yuvraj Singh

And if mocking the team on Twitter wasn’t enough, a Times Now reporter got hold of Hardik Pandya and Yuvraj Singh and started badgering questions about why they didn’t wear black armbands.

When the reporter asked Hardik Pandya about not wearing black armbands, Pandya said, “I won’t be answering, so sorry, we are not allowed to.” It is clear that Hardik is trying to say that the members of the Indian team are not allowed to answer such questions.

But the Times Now anchor, Anand Narasimhan, takes away what he wants to from the exchange, and says “He (Pandya) comes out and says one statement to Jonathan, we are not allowed to, does that not express the sentiment of the players? They want to do it, but they are not allowed to, they have put the onus on the BCCI.”

From where to where are you going Anand bhai, your channel lives by being ‘always with the news’, but it seems here that the channel’s tagline has changed to ‘let’s manufacture news’.

Indian Cricket Team – A Soft Target

Are the members of the Indian cricket team a soft target? Why didn’t the Times Now reporter hound the BCCI officials in the United Kingdom with the same questions? The BCCI could also have requested the ICC about whether the Indian players could wear black armbands.

Why not impose mics on the ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar himself? After all, he is an Indian. He should have allowed the Indian players to pay their respects to the martyrs, right?

So there you are; Times Now, in their ‘Newshour Debate’, could have just thrashed India’s performance in the Champions Trophy final (if they wanted to be angry).

It probably would have got them the same number of TRPs as the debate on armbands received.

Always with the news, it seems!