Things have turned ugly on the social media after a Mumbai crowd booed RCB skipper Virat Kohli, with fans of either team engaged in a war of words

What is left to subside in the real world soars to unimaginable heights in the virtual one. Social media enthusiasts are making the most of Saturday’s IPL spat involving Virat Kohli and the jeering crowd at Wankhede Stadium during match 37 between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians.

In the past four days, Internet ‘memes’ on Facebook highlighting the incident have conquered top spots on the home pages of IPL followers.

The vociferous comments that followed these posts show that a war of words has broken out between cricket crowds in Bangalore and Mumbai.

Verbal contests

Bangalore Memes, a community page on the site, generated Kohli’s post-match statements on a picture of his that said, “Mumbai crowd has forgotten that I play for team India too. Come to Bangalore and see how Indian players are appreciated.”

This meme and similar others have drawn more than 1,500 responses in the form of likes, shares and comments.

Akshara Bhogle, a resident of Mumbai, posted that Mumbaikars criticise whenever necessary and never place anyone on a higher pedestal. R. Sharath from Bangalore, meanwhile, took a jibe at Ms. Bhogle saying one must know a thing or two about cricket to criticise at all.

Videos of other past encounters between agitated players and scoffing crowds were brought into the forefront and shared repeatedly.

Users on Twitter aren’t far behind in exhausting ‘hashtags’ like #Kohli and #MIvsRCB.

A regretting tweet by @coolfunnytshirt read, “IPL has succeeded in its format when it made Indians boo an Indian in Mumbai.”

Fire-fighting on

To douse the flames between the two conflicted crowds, IPL enthusiasts from other cities have joined in.

One of them from Hyderabad, Alisha Rao settled an altercation on a pro-Bangalore status update saying that one must not let the game’s entertainment factor create a blinding frenzy and lead to crowd wars.

“If the crowd expressed itself blatantly then Kohli did too. The impulsiveness at both ends is not worth a verbal tiff,” she said.

The pros speak

Off the web, the sports fraternity in the city have their say.

Noel David, fielding coach for Hyderabad’s Ranji team, is of the opinion that Kohli unnecessarily reacted to the inevitable intensity that T20 generates in any crowd.

Cricket fans, on various fora for discussion, hope that the return of one-day internationals and test matches on Indian turf will clear any qualms about crowd behaviour that players may have.