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‘Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni or Kapil Dev, we have to stop worship heroes’, says Gautam Gambhir – Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir criticised India’s hero worship culture and asked the fans, and broadcasters to stop it and give equal importance to even the small contributors.

The batter also said that social media is one of the fakest things and highly promotes hero worship thing.

Gambhir was asked if the hero worship chokes the future stars to come up, at the Indian Express Idea Exchange. They exemplified the Indian cricket team, wherein earlier MS Dhoni and now Virat Kohli have been worshipped by the fans.

The southpaw responded with the example of Bhuvneshwar Kumar who took a five-wicket haul in the Asia Cup match against Afghanistan, but all the hype was about Virat Kohli’s 71st century.

“When Kohli got a 100 and there was this young guy from a small town of Meerut, who also managed to get five wickets, no one even bothered to speak about him. This was so unfortunate. I was the only one, during that commentary stint, who said that. He bowled four overs and got five wickets and I don’t think anyone knows about that.

“But Kohli scores a 100 and there are celebrations everywhere in this country. India needs to come out of this hero worship. Whether it’s Indian cricket, whether it’s politics, whether it’s Delhi cricket. We have to stop worshipping heroes. The only thing that we need to worship is Indian cricket, or for that matter Delhi or India.”

Gambhir explained that such hype behind one player is created by social media followers, media, and broadcasters.

“Who created that? It is created by two things. First, by social media followers, which is probably the fakest thing in this country because you are judged by how many followers you have. That is what creates a brand.

“Second, by the media and the broadcasters. If you keep talking about one person day in and day out, it eventually becomes a brand. That is how it was in 1983. Why start from Dhoni? It started in 1983. When India won the first World Cup, it was all about Kapil Dev. When we won in 2007 and 2011, it was Dhoni.

“Who created that? None of the players did. Nor did the BCCI. Have the news channels and broadcasters ever spoken about Indian cricket? Have we ever spoken that Indian cricket needs to flourish? There are more than two or three people who are stakeholders of Indian cricket. They don’t rule Indian cricket, they should not be ruling Indian cricket. Indian cricket should be ruled by the 15 people sitting in that dressing room. Everyone has a contribution to make … … I’ve never been able to follow anyone in my life. And that has been my biggest problem. The media and the broadcasters create a brand, no one else creates a brand.”

Gambhir further shared a piece from his captaincy stint with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for a period of seven years. He said that he tried to appreciate even the smaller contributions from his players.

“It takes effort to sell someone who comes from a small town. They [broadcasters] should probably work harder. Let’s not only blame one or two, it has been going on since 1983. That was something I was trying to do when I was at Kolkata Knight Riders when I was leading them for seven years — to start appreciating small contributions,” Gambhir said.

“It will continue to continue similarly unless people start raising their voices. You guys can and should make a difference. Start contributing and appreciating small contributions, especially when it comes to sports because that is what Indian cricket needs. We need to move out of that shadow of 1983, 2007, and 2011. It’s done and dusted. That’s history,” “Start talking about 2022 and 2023,” Gambhir said.

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