Cricket is not just a sport but it’s an emotion for fans. In India, the game is celebrated like a religion, and events such as the ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC T20 World Cup, and ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final are celebrated like festivals. In the history of the sport, it’s witnessed that fans and spectators fail to control their emotions and break down.
Well, it’s not just supporters, players also fail to hold their emotions and shed tears. In the 2007 World Cup, Pakistan captain Inzammam-ul-Haq cried and dedicated his team’s emphatic 93-run win (DLS method) over Zimbabwe to Bob Wolmer, who was Pakistan’s coach in the tournament.
Following his side’s one-sided win, the Pakistan skipper couldn’t hold his tears as the Men in Green had faced a catastrophic three-wicket loss at the hands of Ireland in their previous game. The matter got worse when their coach Bob Woolmer passed away the day after the Ireland game. After this incident, a lot of instances occurred when players got emotional due to successes and failures.
Here are eight instances when cricketers got emotional
10. Heartbroken Shakib Al Hasan breaks down after Pakistan’s close victory against Bangladesh in the 2012 Asia Cup final
In the 2012 Asia Cup, Bangladesh played an aggressive brand of cricket in their backyard and qualified for the final of the tournament for the first time, beating the quality sides India and Sri Lanka. Contesting against the Men in Green in the final at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Bangladesh got close to winning the trophy but in the end, Pakistan won the game by just two runs.
The Bangla Tigers’ close defeat shattered the hearts of Bangladesh supporters as they broke down in tears. Along with fans, Shakib Al Hasan was also seen crying after the match. In the big game, Shakib reinforced Bangladesh with his all-round performances.
With the ball, Shakib picked up 2-39 figures in his 10-over spell to help his team contain Pakistan on an average total of 236. Continuing his good work, he also notched up 68 runs with his bat and became the leading run-scorer in the game. However, his efforts went in vain as Pakistan won in the crunch moment and pocketed the match.
9. Pakistan players cry after losing the 2022 T20 World Cup final to England
Pakistan’s journey in the 2022 T20 World Cup went through many ups and downs but at the end of the tournament, they finished as runner-ups, losing to England in the final game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). After their humiliating defeat to Zimbabwe in the group round, the Babar Azam-led side won all the games ahead of the final.
On the big day, England were the favourites to win the title but Pakistan fans were expecting their team to come out victorious and lift the coveted trophy for the second time. However, England dominated the Men in Green throughout the contest and went back home with a five-wicket victory.
The scintillating win brought cheers to the faces of England players and supporters while Pakistan players were seen crying during the post-match presentation. Captain Babar Azam, Shadab Khan, and Haris Rauf were spotted with tears rolling down their cheeks.
8. Steven Smith cries during a press conference after the infamous sandpaper gate
Star Australia player Steven Smith is considered the best Test batter at the present time. Before the end of his career, Smith might also become the greatest Test batter for his country, surpassing illustrious Aussie greats Steve Waugh, Allan Border, and Ricky Ponting. In his 13-year Test career, Smith has registered some incredible achievements to his name.
In 2018, the dashing right-handed batter went through the lowest phase of his career. During the third Test of Australia’s tour of South Africa, Smith got involved in ball-tampering, along with his teammates David Warner and Cameron Bancroft. Following the incident, an investigation too place, following which all three players were found guilty.
Smith confessed his involvement in corrupting the game and with this development, the International Cricket Council (ICC) charged him with hampering the spirit of the game. Along with ICC, Cricket Australia (CA) also stepped into the matter and banned Smith for a year. After getting banned, Smith attended a press conference in Sydney. During the presser, Smith broke down and apologised for his offence.
7. Virat Kohli in tears in the 2012 T20 World Cup match against South Africa
In the 2012 T20 World Cup held in Sri Lanka, the West Indies became the champions for the first time, beating hosts Sri Lanka in the final. Prior to the tournament, India were favourites to win the title as the tournament was held in their neighbour island nation, where conditions are similar to India.
However, the Indian team failed to perform upto the expectations, ending their journey in the Super 8 round. In their final game of Super 8, India were required to beat South Africa by more than 30 runs to qualify for the knockouts. The Men in Blue beat the Proteas by two runs in the end but the former’s victory margin wasn’t enough to take them to the semi-finals.
In the must-win game, India posted 152 on the board and to advance to the knockouts, they were required to restrict South Africa around 120. As soon as the Proteas crossed the 120-run mark, Virat Kohli failed to control his emotions and started crying while serving the team on the field. In India’s unsuccessful campaign, Kohli became the leading run-scorer in the tournament, scoring 185 runs with a couple of half-centuries in five matches at a strike rate of 122.51.
6. Sachin Tendulkar breaks down after Hyderabad ODI against Australia in 2009
During Australia’s tour of India in 2009, Sachin Tendulkar played one of the most memorable One-Day Internationals (ODI) knocks of his career. After four matches of the competition, both sides won two games apiece. In the fifth ODI, both teams locked horns at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
Winning the toss, Australia skipper Ricky Ponting put his team to bat first and his decision worked as the Aussie batter succeeded in creating pressure on Indian bowlers, putting up 350 runs on the board. Following the massive total, India got a fierce start with the help of their openers Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar.
However, after the fall of Sehwag’s wicket, Tendulkar took the matter into his hands and played brilliantly. While all other India batters struggled in front of the Aussie bowlers. Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja put up some fight along with the Master Blaster, but in the end, India lost the game by three runs. Tendulkar, who notched up 175 off just 141 deliveries, became the Player of the Match. While receiving the award, Tendulkar’s eyes got wet as his excellent batting efforts went in vain.
5. Charlie Dean cries after Deepti Sharma Mankad her at the non-striker’s end
In 2022, India Women toured England for three One-Day Internationals and three T20 Internationals. After winning the first two ODIs, the Women in Blue were emboldened to whitewash the hosts in the final contest at Lord’s in London, while England were looking forward to avoiding embarrassment by defeating the visitors.
England skipper Amy Jones won the toss and elected to field first. Batting first, the Indian team got dismissed at 169 in 45.4 overs. Following the low total, England struggled in front of India’s disciplined bowling but Charlie Dean, who came to bat at number nine, looked confident and took the team close to the total.
With just 17 required off 39, English fans were expecting Dean to hold her nerves and take England home. However, Deepti Sharma, who was bowling her eighth over, run Dean out at the non-striker’s end. Dean, who got dismissed in an unusual manner, left the field in tears as she failed to win the game for her team.
4. Shafali Verma breaks down after leading India Women to Under-19 T20 World Cup title
In the maiden edition of the Under-19 T20 Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa, India played spectacularly and lifted the trophy under the captaincy of Shafali Verma. Shafali and her girls looked confident in the tournament and defeated the quality sides such as South Africa, New Zealand, and England to win the title.
Playing the final match against England at Senwes Park, India displayed a dominating approach from the beginning of the match. Winning the toss, Verma put England to bat first and her decision worked well when Indian bowlers bundled out England at an underwhelming score of 68.
India lost openers Verma and Shweta Sehrawat early but the steady 46-run partnership between Soumya Tiwari and Gongadi Trisha helped India to bag the game comfortably. After the emphatic title victory, Shafali attended the post-match presentation and while discussing her team’s performance, the skipper shed tears of joy and jubilation.
3. Harmanpreet Kaur cries after India’s loss against Australia in the 2023 T20 World Cup semi-final
In the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023, India qualified for the semi-final after defeating quality teams Pakistan and the West Indies in the group round. Under Harmanpreet Kaur, the Women in Blue had to face Australia, who advanced to the knockouts after winning all their group matches.
Australia skipper Meg Lanning won the toss and chose to bat first. Riding on the extraordinary knocks of Beth Mooney (54 off 37), Meg Lanning (49 off 34), and Ashleigh Gardner (31 off 18), the Women in Yellow amassed a decent total of 172 runs on the board in their 20 overs. Pursuing the target, India lost three wickets within the powerplay overs. After the terrible start, captain Harmanpreet stepped up and stitched a crucial 69-run partnership with Jemimah Rodrigues in just 40 balls.
With 41 required off 33, India’s victory chances were growing in the game but then Harmanpreet got run out while stealing a second run on the fourth delivery of the 15th over. The India skipper’s dismissal shattered the confidence of other India batters and in the end, Australia came out victorious by five runs. After the game, Harmanpreet attended a post-match interview. While discussing the match, the India captain failed to control her tears and was seen hiding her tears behind the sunglasses. Anjum Chopra, who conducted the interview, was seen consoling Harmanpreet.
2. AB de Villiers and Morne Morkel in pain after South Africa’s 2015 World Cup exit
In the 2015 World Cup, South Africa got close to winning the World Cup trophy after beating Sri Lanka by nine wickets in the first quarter-final at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). The victory against Sri Lanka was the Proteas’ first win in the knockouts of the ICC World Cups.
After their scintillating win against the island nation, South Africa faced New Zealand at Eden Park. Batting first after winning the toss, the Proteas posted an enormous total of 281 on the board in 43 overs. New Zealand got a revised target of 298 according to the DLS method, with the curtailment of the game due to rain.
In the huge game, Grant Elliott held his nerves and took his team home with his extraordinary 84-run knock off just 73 balls. Along with Elliott, Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum (59 off 26) and Corey Anderson (58 off 57) also helped their team to pocket the match by four wickets and with one ball remaining. South Africa put up a brave fight but for them, it was close but no cigar at the end of the day.
The close defeat left some South Africa veterans in despair. Captain AB de Villiers and pacer Morne Morkel lost control of their emotions and cried their eyes out. In the marquee tournament, Morkel took 17 wickets in eight matches and ended up becoming the third-joint-leading wicket-taker along with India’s Mohammed Shami.
1. India players in tears after the famous 2011 World Cup triumph
In 2011, India lifted the trophy after 28 years under the phenomenal leadership of MS Dhoni. India’s campaign went through many ups and downs as the Men in Blue lost to South Africa in the 29th match of the competition held at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium, Nagpur.
Along with the loss against the Proteas, the Indian cricket team looked underconfident against Ireland and The Netherlands in the group games. However, in the knockout matches, MS Dhoni and his men changed their gears and vanquished Australia, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to lift the trophy.
Riding on Gautam Gambhir’s 97 (122) and captain MS Dhoni’s 91 (79), India beat Sri Lanka in the final at the Wankhede Stadium and won their second title. Following India’s triumph, Indian players started celebrating the win in front of spectators at the stadium.
While celebrating the moment, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, and Harbhajan Singh got emotional and broke into tears. Tendulkar, who scored 482 runs in nine matches at a strike rate of 91.98, became the second-leading run-scorer in the competition. While Yuvraj became the Player of the Tournament, for his exceptional all-round performance (362 runs and 15 wickets in nine matches).