During the 2015 Cricket World Cup, India was playing against Pakistan on February 15. This was also the time when MS Dhoni’s wife Sakshi was expected to give birth. Despite this being a significant personal moment from the then-India captain MS Dhoni, he decided to stay with the team and play the match. India went on to win the match against Pakistan and like most times, MS Dhoni’s contribution was pivotal. On the other hand, his daughter Ziva was born just a few days before the match.
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Even to this day, Dhoni’s decision to play the match is appreciated and celebrated by fans. It has become sort of a benchmark for cricketers when it comes to their dedication towards the sport and their team. However, when it comes to choosing between family and profession, not everyone chooses their profession, for which they are often met with intense criticism.
For example, Virat Kohli chose not to appear for the One Day Internationals series in the South Africa tour in 2021 when his wife Anushka was set to give birth. He went on to claim openly that he did not regret his decision and called becoming a father the “greatest moment” of his life. To this day, he is compared to MS Dhoni for making this decision.
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And recently, Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah flew back to the country from Sri Lanka and missed India’s match against Nepal at the Asia Cup to be with his wife who is expecting their first child, reported Indian Express.
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For this, Jasprit Bumrah is facing his fair share of criticism and comparison with MS Dhoni with many people claiming that missing a cricket match is like not fulfilling one’s “national duty”, which is an absurd argument. Here’s a look at some reactions:
When ziva was born in 2015 during the WC, MS Dhoni said “ I am on national duty, Won't go back and leave my team in the middle”
Today, Bumrah left immediately in the middle of the Asia Cup for the birth of his child.
Guess, that kind of commitment is no longer existent. pic.twitter.com/foTF4JjX2t
— Roshan Rai (@RoshanKrRaii) September 3, 2023
That is what makes Dhoni the greatest cricketer.
We will never see someone so passionate about cricket.
Love for Thala 😍
— Ajinkya Vyawahare 🇮🇳 (@vajinkya16) September 3, 2023
Ziva was born on 6 february 2015 .
Scores of Ms Dhoni in 2015 WC on –
8 feb : 0(1) vs AUS
10 feb : 10(20) vs AFG
15 feb : 18(13) vs PAK
22 feb : 18(11) vs SA
That’s how thala did his national duty ❤️
— Aarav (@sigma__male_) September 3, 2023
Sab dhoni nahi na hote bhai…
— Saurabh Raj (@sraj57454) September 3, 2023
Even Virat had left an important tour for a long long time .. his downfall started after he put the Country second
— Aarti (@aartic02) September 4, 2023
Yes now players are not showing any commitment for the game knowing they are representing the country that is why there performance also gone down..
— Manish Kumar (@manis_misra) September 4, 2023
That’s why Dhoni is 🐐
— India.web3 || golu.eth (@MetaAbhishek) September 4, 2023
On the other hand, people slammed those criticising Bumrah for his decision and claimed that a cricket match at the Asia Cup is not one’s “national duty”. They highlighted the differences between Dhoni’s and Bumrah’s cases because they differ on so many levels when it comes to priority. Also, it is not wrong to place family before profession.
Here’s a look at some posts defending the cricketer:
Cricket is just a sport, romanticising it as “national duty” does no good for it. Bumrah made the right call. https://t.co/kerTbE9zmk
— Siddharth (@DearthOfSid) September 3, 2023
Between great cricketer worshipped by generations of cricket fans and a doting father to a lucky child, the choice isn’t as hard as you might think. Just because flags are waved and faces are painted at sporting events, the events do not become “national duty.”
— Amit Schandillia (@Schandillia) September 4, 2023
Stop treating athletes like they're soldiers whose unavailability will result in deaths. When athletes like Bumrah gonna retire from sports, it is the same family members who will be around them, not trolls like him.
Good on Bumrah for choosing his family over career. https://t.co/YqsrR2NiJv
— Balram Vishwakarma (@Balram1801) September 3, 2023
I’m a huge Dhoni Stan for the longest time now but really got to stop shaming sportsmen for putting family first. It’s a message that’s NEEDS to be sent out. https://t.co/m0Uv5Pt2FY
— A (@Aarsun) September 4, 2023
I don't understand why some people always bring this. I know playing for country is huge thing and it's dream for everyone . But being a father for the first time is also a huge thing. What Dhoni did was his decision or he is committed to Indian cricket more than anyone but… https://t.co/6SZxR3yvaB
— 𝐒𝐡𝐫𝐞𝐲𝐚𝐬𝐌𝐒𝐃𝐢𝐚𝐧™ (@Itzshreyas07) September 3, 2023
Nationalism is cancerous. Why throwing unnecessary hate towards Bumrah? Cricket is just a game. Bumrah made the right call. All the best to him. https://t.co/OvBlNMf0wy
— Ahad (@abdulahadjawaid) September 4, 2023
Cricket matches come and go. Child’s birth happens once! Setting this kind of unhealthy attendance/ performance commitment expectations is exactly what needs to be discouraged at workplace. Family should always come first. https://t.co/IeTwYgZW42
— Sanjeev (@geniusparadox) September 4, 2023
Bumrah did the right thing. Being with his family at this time is much more important than playing an inconsequential match against Nepal. It's not even a debate. It's just a game of cricket.
Congratulations Bumrah and family https://t.co/i3EFw4EdJs
— Zan (@RakitaMode) September 3, 2023
Lmfaoooo not everything is about men running after balls. He prioritised his wife and child, small pp men like you would never understand. Dumbass. This is exactly what's wrong with this country. Also since when did cricket become national duty. What a joke https://t.co/wdG4iv3IQC
— dodo bagins (@nanotmonroe) September 4, 2023
As a country that values cricket, we need to be more understanding and accommodating of a player’s family commitments, especially during significant life events like childbirth. Don’t you think?