The Bangladesh cricket team’s ‘nagin (or cobra) dance’ celebrations, which they performed after beating Sri Lanka to reach the finals of the Nidahas Tropy, seemingly left the tournament hosts aggrieved.
However, the gig came back to haunt them! Bangladesh got a taste of their own medicine as India won the finals and the crowd, comprising both Indian and Sri Lankan fans, imitated the cobra dance in an attempt to mock the losing team.
The amusing dance move also went viral online with meme-posters and trollers making the most of it.
Moreover, former Indian captain and commentator, Sunil Gavaskar too broke into an impromptu cobra dance in between commentating. And while Gavaskar’s dance was all in good humour, the gesture did not go down well with netizens, mostly in Bangladesh, who slammed his action on the social media.
The first nagin dance
When Sri Lanka toured Bangladesh earlier this year, in their first T20 international match, Nazmul Islam celebrated the fall of Sri Lankan batsman Upul Tharanga’s wicket by doing the cobra dance. He was soon joined by his teammate Mushfiqur Rahim.
But on last Friday, when Mushfiqur was dismissed in the semi-finals, as a rejoinder, Sri Lanka bowler Amila Aponso mocked him by playing an imaginary ‘pungi’ (an instrument played by snake charmers). However, this isn’t the first time that such tit-for-tat drama took place in a match.
In the 1992 World Cup, Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad celebrated a win by performing monkey jumps to imitate Kiran More (as the former could not tolerate incessant appeals by the Indian wicket-keeper).
And who can forget Saurav Ganguly’s unthinkable move in 2002 after India’s splendid victory over England at Lord's — the former Indian captain took off his jersey in reply to Andrew Flintoff’s chest-baring celebration at Wankhede Stadium earlier that year.
Former Indian cricketer Arshad Ayub admits that sometimes players, and the crowd, do get carried away. “Normally cricketers and the crowd do not mock the opposition while celebrating, but sometimes they get excited. I don’t think mocking celebrations existed during our times, but it’s ok if you mock in a lighter vein,” says Arshad.
But there have been several such ‘mocking’ instances in recent times as well, including the 2017 India vs Australia Test Series. On such occassion was when Virat Kohli hit back at Australia for their alleged mockery of his shoulder injury. In his gesticulation aimed at them, the Indian skipper celebrated the dismissal of David Warner by touching his shoulder and pretending to be in pain.
Playing for the country is a matter of national pride. It is only natural for the players to compete fiercely, and at times, become emotional in the process of celebrating their victory. However, it makes one wonder whether such mockery lies within the spirit of the ‘gentleman’s game’?
Spinner Harbhajan Singh, who came up with his own unique way to troll Bangladesh by introducing the ‘bichuu (scorpion) dance’, says that it’s all about instincts. “You don’t plan these celebrations; they just happen impromptu. After getting a wicket or winning, you feel like doing something, and everyone does it in their own way,” feels the cricketer.
Sunny irks Bangladesh
As Karthik’s sweetly-timed drive sailed past the boundary rope over extra covers, the fans broke into a jig to taunt the vanquished who cut a sorry figure, bowing their heads and collapsing on the field.
Not just from the stands, the Bangladeshis were also mocked from the commentary box. India legend Sunil Gavaskar, sporting a cheeky smile, replicated the Nagin pose for his fellow commentators Brett Lee and Aamer Sohail inside the booth.
Gavaskar’s cobra pose became an instant hit on Twitter. While Indian fans loved Sunny’s impromptu performance, it didn’t earn him any admirers from across the Bengal border. They quickly hit out at Gavaskar.
Sports writer and columnist, Ayaz Memon comes out in Gavaskar’s defense. “It’s like celebrating in the opposition’s style, just to tease them. Gavaskar did it just for fun because his fellow commentators Bret Lee and Aamir Sohail asked for it. West Indian cricketers used to do the Gangnam style dance too. So these things do happen and this is not mocking, but ‘tit for tat’,” explains Ayaz....