Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium was taken over by trolls who after the spectators were invited to send messages during the test match. While it all started as a good joke, it took a sad turn when distasteful jokes started appearing on screen. From English footballer, Adam Johnson to Brexit’s leading voice Nigel Farage to the late IRA member Bobby stands appeared on the scoreboard. Earlier, the spectators had been invited to send messages supporting their teams which would be displayed on the scoreboard. But Day 3 of the test match, the whole exercise went on to become a series of sickening jokes.
According to IE, some of these messages made jokes about victims of paedophilia, lost family members and victims of other forms of violence. One of the messages read, ‘Lovely to see so many young cricket fans here today! – Adam Johnson’. Johnson is a former Manchester City and Sunderland footballer who had been sent to jail for 6 years as a convicted paedophile. ‘So grateful for my parents to bring me to the Cricket! Great day so far 🙂 – Madeleine McCann’, read another. McCann was a three-year-old girl who went missing from a holiday with her parents in Portugal in 2007. Another such message read, ‘I came here in memory of my Father Josef, who loved to watch cricket with me in the basement in our home country, Austria – Elisabeth Fritzl’. This message referred to a woman who had been kept as a captive and sexually abused by her father in the basement for 24 years in Austria.
The English cricket team though was quick to distance itself from the distasteful prank. The group managing director Paul Burnham told BBC that this was a ‘no-go area’. Calling it a very sick thing to do, he said that they were 99% sure that it wasn’t anybody connected to the English squad. He condemned the messages and said that if anybody in the English squad had done it, the management would not react well in terms of their membership.