Australia opener David Warner had to apologise to his Indian fans on Monday following his team's triumph over the hosts in the ICC World Cup final held in Ahmedabad. In a one-sided match at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Australia convincingly defeated India by 6 wickets, breaking the hearts of the home team's supporters who had hoped for a title win.
The defeat dashed India's aspirations of ending their 10-year ICC title drought, while Australia secured their sixth World Cup trophy, adding to their victories in 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2015. Despite Warner's lackluster performance in the final, with the bat, Australia secured victory by chasing down the below-par target of 241 in just 43 overs, fueled by Travis Head's exceptional 137 and Marcus Labuschagne's unbeaten 58.
Warner responded to a fan's message on social media, acknowledging the heartbreak caused to Indian cricket followers. The fan, Samridh Agarwal, expressed disappointment, stating, "Dear @davidwarner31 you've broken billions of hearts." In response, Warner apologised, recognizing the greatness of the game and the incredible atmosphere, thanking India for hosting a remarkable event.
"I apologise, it was such a great game and the atmosphere was incredible. India really put on a serious event. Thank you all," Warner replied.
The Mitchell Starc-led Australian bowling attack had earlier restricted India to 240 in 50 overs after winning the toss and opting to bowl on a slow pitch at the Modi Stadium. However, the post-match scenario took a darker turn as some Indian fans directed hate towards Australian players on social media. Travis Head and Glenn Maxwell's families were targeted, with the former's wife and infant daughter receiving reprehensible threats.
Maxwell's wife, Vini Raman, responded to the online abuse, defending her support for the Australian team despite her Indian background. The incidents of online abuse shed light on the need for responsible and respectful fan behavior even in the competitive realm of international sports.