Indian cricket legend Sachen Tendulkar waves to his fans. File photo
Sorry can be the hardest word, as the Elton John song goes. For some people yes, but not for fans of tennis star Maria Sharapova in India's Kerala state. They are extremely sorry for having trolled her in 2015 after she said she did not know who cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar was. They were very angry with her for showing such blatant ignorance about the icon.
Not anymore. Now they are penitent. What could account for this change of heart? The reason is not far to seek. They are extremely peeved with the batting great after his tweet on the farmers' protest.
According to a report in a section of the Indian media, scores of Keralites flooded the glamorous star's social media pages with messages, apologising for trolling her six years ago.
Tennis star Maria Sharapova gestures to the audience. File photo
Most of the messages were remorseful for being critical of the former World No.1 and lashed out at Sachin Tendulkar for his tweet. However, a few even invited her to come to "God's Own Country," as Kerala is known in touristy promotions, to enjoy its scenic splendour and attend the iconic Thrissur Pooram (an annual temple festival) once the coronavirus pandemic ended.
"Sharapova, you were right about Sachin, that he is not a person of quality that you should know," a social media user commented in Malayalam, as were hundreds of other messages in the south Indian language.
The 33-year old multiple Grand Slam winner on Wednesday posted a tweet, saying "Anyone else got their years confused?" after her Twitter and Facebook page got flooded with comments in Malayalam once again like in 2015.
The netizens were upset with Sachin Tendulkar, who along with several Bollywood and other cricket stars, rallied around the government in its pushback against support from several global celebrities to the farmers' agitation against new farm laws.
"India's sovereignty cannot be compromised. External forces can be spectators but not participants. Indians know India and should decide for India. Let's remain united as a nation," Sachin Tendulkar had tweeted.
The master blaster had posted the message as part of similar tweets on India's unity posted by celebrities in response to international pop star Rihanna expressing solidarity with the farmers' agitation.
Though the tweet of Sachin Tendulkar attracted over 2.7 lakh 'likes,' it did not go down well with a large number of people.
This photo shows the farmers' agitation against new farm laws. File photo
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday urged the cricket legend to "exercise caution while speaking about any other field".
"Many people have reacted sharply to the stand by them (Indian celebrities). I would advise Sachin to exercise caution while speaking about any other field," Pawar was quoted by news agency ANI.
Many were back on Sharapova's wall since Wednesday, apologising for their "crude behaviour" six years ago.
Over the thousands of comments in Malayalam, all had a similar pattern of expressing regret to Maria Sharapova.
"I am sorry, Maria, the legend. We knew Sachin as a player. But we didn't know him as a person. You were right, and sorry for commenting bad on your FB post," another user said.
One person offered her shawarma and mouth-watering Kuzhimanthi (a type of biryani) as part of peace offering and apologised saying, "I am the sorry", borrowing words from a Malayalam movie.
Another said: "One truckload of apologies, sister. We didn't have your foresightedness. Time proved that you were right."Yet another user, said "we are sorry for cyber bullying".
It was a superb display by the underdog Black Caps, who came into the match on the back of three straight defeats by Pakistan, Australia and England and only qualified for the semi-finals on net run-rate, while India topped the 10-team group stage.
Ashwin produced a stellar performance as Kings XI Punjab defeated Rajasthan Royals by 12 runs in an IPL match on Tuesday. After posting 182/6, Punjab restricted Rajasthan to 170/7. Ashwin returned with a figure of 2-24. Earlier, buoyed by a World Cup call-up, KL Rahul struck a well-timed fifty but Jofra Archer stole the limelight from him with splendid figures of 3/15 as Kings XI Punjab posted 182/6.
All-round Chennai Super Kings made short work of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), thrashing them by seven wickets in a lopsided Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter in Chennai on Tuesday. The victory saw the defending champions replace KKR at the top of the eight-team points table with 10 points from six matches.
An outrageous 48 runs off just 13 balls by Andre Russell (1x4, 7x6) gave Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) a come-from-behind 5-wicket win against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in a 2019 Indian Premier League match at The Chinnaswamy in Bengaluru on Friday.
Williams's farewell on-court interview was threaded with emotion. "I love playing here, I've always loved playing here," she said, choking up as fans who cheered her throughout the match called out their appreciation.
Currently, Babar is placed at the top with 818 rating points, however, India's Suryakumar Yadav is not far behind as he has 805 rating points. Last week, he stood at 816 points, just two points shy of Babar.
The tournament will be held over the weekend of Feb.18-19, 2023 at Zayed City Sports Stadium, an iconic landmark in Abu Dhabi and the largest multi-purpose sports venue in the UAE.