The conclusion of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 evoked a spectrum of emotions among cricket enthusiasts. As the Australian team and their supporters rejoiced in the glory of their sixth title triumph, the Indian cricket team, despite displaying brilliance throughout the tournament, grappled with the bitter taste of defeat.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dressing room visit

Amidst this rollercoaster of emotions, a surprising and heartwarming moment transpired when India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, visited the dressing room to console the dejected Indian players. However, this gesture did not escape criticism, as political opponents questioned its underlying motives.

Despite the ensuing political discourse, former cricketers Ravi Shastri and Venkatesh Prasad have stepped forward to laud Modi’s gesture, emphasizing the human aspect that transcends political narratives.

Ravi Shastri’s perspective and praise for PM

A stalwart of Indian cricket and former head coach, Shastri lent his experience to provide insights into the emotional journey of a cricket dressing room to highlight the importance of Prime Minister Modi’s visit.

Drawing on his stint as the coach of the Indian cricket team, Shastri empathized with the heart-wrenching feeling of defeat and lauded Prime Minister Modi for visiting and having a word with players, emphasizing its potential to uplift the spirits of the players.

“I think it’s an outstanding thing simply because I know what a dressing room feels like and I have been in that dressing room for more than seven years as a coach of India apart from many years as a cricketer. It is a gut-wrenching feeling and when you are down then you seem that you are out,” Shastri was quoted saying by India Today.

“When you get someone like the Prime Minister of the country coming and visiting the dressing room, it is something massive because it can lift the spirits of the players. This is no ordinary man walking in. When you have Prime Minister of a country walking into the dressing room is special. I know what the players would have felt like I know what I would have felt like you know if I was a coach of India,” he added.

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Venkatesh Prasad’s appreciation and response to critics

Another respected figure in Indian cricket, Prasad, echoed Shastri’s sentiments and described the Prime Minister’s gesture as beautiful. He highlighted the purely humane aspect of the visit and its role in boosting the morale of the players. Prasad also went on to address the critics, drawing a parallel with other instances in sports where leaders have consoled their teams after a loss.

“It was a beautiful gesture by the Prime Minister to meet the players after the unfortunate loss in the finals. It helps in lifting the morale and there was no gain for the Hon. Prime Minister to go and meet the players after a loss. It was just a great human gesture,” wrote Prasad on his official X (formerly Twitter) account.

“And many of those cribbing and criticising were going gaga when the French President met Mbappe and the French palyers after France lost the Fifa WC finals. Just pure hate without any understanding and objectivity,” he added.

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