Cricketers getting subjected to online heat is nothing new. Days after social media trolls targetted Shubman Gill and his family, barraging them with a slew of inappropriate comments, the tide has now turned to Robin Uthappa. The former India batter, through no fault of his own, found himself in the middle of an unwanted controversy when fans decided to take Uthappa’s tweet on Chennai Super Kings out of context and shower him with hate. Uthappa has been vocal towards his support for CSK, whom he represented in three seasons, but fans accused the ex-IPL star for never being supportive towards the franchise he played the longest for and tasted most success with – Kolkata Knight Riders.
Moments ahead of the IPL 2023 Qualifier between CSK and Gujarat Titans, Uthappa posted a picture of himself and his son in a Chennai jersey lending his support for the four-time champions, and was immediately bombarded with a flurry of anti-CSK messages. Pointing out Uthappa’ bias behaviour towards KKR, when a fan tweeted, “Bro played one-two seasons with Chennai and sold his soul. I have never seen him supporting KKR like this,” Uthappa retaliated by replying: “Loyalty and respect is a give and take my friend.” That was the moment online trollers were waiting for as they launched an all-out attack on Uthappa, forcing the former batter to tweet: I’m not surprised by the hate I’m receiving here for what has been MY experience. Peace and love to you all.”
Irfan Pathan came out to assist Uthappa and urged his former India teammate to ignore the negative and embrace the positivity. “Hate ko hata mere bhai. Bas pyaar ko dekh,” he tweeted (Ignore the hate my brother, focus on the love”. Uthappa in his reply, acknowledged Pathan’s inputs and replied: “Zindagi toh pyaar se bhara pada hai mere bhai!! (Life is filled with love my brother) Only Love can overcome hate.”
Uthappa has turned up for six different IPL franchises. He began his IPL career with Mumbai Indians in 2008 before switching to Royal Challengers Bangalore from 2009 to 2010 and then spending one season with the new defunct Pune Warriors India. Uthappa found his true success in KKR though, whom he played for six seasons – from 2014 to 2019 – scoring 2439 runs. In 2014, he won the Orange Cap as KKR won their second IPL title.
Uthappa then made a move to CSK in in 2020, scoring 196 runs from 12 matches. The following year in 2021, Uthappa played just 4 matches – not his greatest year, but was back in the CSK’s prime scheme of things last season, when he scored 230 runs from 12 matches. In September last year, Uthappa announced that he was retiring from international and Indian cricket but is open to playing leagues outside of India.