Cricket is widely considered to be the second most popular sport in the world after football in terms of viewership.
Russia, however, has officially refused to recognise cricket as a sport according to a memo from the Russian sports ministry. Cricket has not found a place on a list that includes the Russian equivalent of ‘curling’.
“Refuse recognition of cricket as a sport,” read the memo written by Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov dated Monday, July 15.
This obviously did not go down well with the Indian social media community that considers cricket not just a sport but a religion.
Extremely offended by the decision, Indian fans trolled the Russian sports ministry on Twitter.
Explaining this bizarre decision, Alexander Sorokin, a member of the executive committee of the Moscow Cricket Sports Federation, said: “Cricket is popular mainly in the institutions where Indian students study, but they also introduce Russians to cricket. For example, there are 13 clubs in Tver, there are four teams in Voronezh. With the help of regional authorities, we plan open cricket schools in 48 regions of the country. While cricket is not recognized, it cannot be done.”
This is how Indian Twitter reacted:
I can’t understand what they have against a game of patience, honesty and fair-play.
— Amy Supranova (@AmySupranova) July 18, 2019
Russia does not have the knowledge about this game. They should first focus on understanding the game then take decision. Also i don't understand how can russia be part of icc council when they are not a cricket playing nation.
— Rajiv (@Rajka10) July 20, 2019
Yes. It is WAR. Ask India and Pakistan!!
— Dr. Uzma Razvi (@sane_indian) July 18, 2019
Who cares what those buggers think? ?
— Sana Rahman(blue tick) (@SanaRah40_95) July 18, 2019
Kind of difficult to play it in Siberia which is where the team would be sent if they lost.
— Anindya Dutta (@Cric_Writer) July 18, 2019