The birth of a child is an unforgettable, magical experience. Is it any wonder then that a father would love to see his child being born? After all, every father should be there when his child comes into the world, right? And he should be there to support his wife during such a momentous event. Only natural, isn’t it? Apparently, not.
Recently, Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah chose to leave the Asia Cup 2023 ahead of his team’s Group A match against Nepal because his wife was about to give birth. And in true form, the internet trolled him to no extent. In addition to that, comparisons between him and MS Dhoni also made the rounds.
In 2015, during the World Cup, MS Dhoni and his wife Sakshi Dhoni were expecting their first child. And despite knowing his wife was due, Dhoni chose to stay back and play for the World Cup saying, “I am on national duty, won’t go back and leave my team in the middle.” While that was the choice Dhoni decided to make for himself, shaming Bumrah for choosing his family over his career is uncalled for.
Much like women have been victims of patriarchy, men too have been prey to patriarchy. That is the reason society puts pressure on men to earn a livelihood. While women are constantly relegated to the kitchens, men need to go out to work to put food on the table. And with cricket being a god in India, a cricketer choosing his family over his career is really shocking, apparently. As much as women are shamed for choosing their careers, men are shamed for choosing their families, and Jasprit Bumrah is no exception.
Thankfully, things seem to be turning for the better, with quite a few people applauding Bumrah for his choice. The fact of the matter is that men and women, husbands and wives earn not just for themselves, but also for their families. So, what’s the point of fame and money if you don’t have a family to go back home to? Cricket is just as much a job as a digital marketer, chartered accountant, teacher, or engineer. A cricketer specialises in cricket, plays the sport, and earns money through it. Unlike the armed forces, a cricket match isn’t a situation where players are toeing the line between life and death.
Jasprit Bumrah is a great example of balancing his work as well as his personal life. While the pacer is an integral part of team India in the ongoing Asia Cup, he chose to come back home to be with his wife Sanjana Ganesan, and return to his duties as a cricketer in a few days. While he will miss the match against Nepal on September 4, the pacer will be back on the pitch right in time for Super 4s which is set to begin on September 6.
Recently, Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri also requested to be rested for the four-nation Kings’ Cup tournament so that he could be with his wife during her delivery. Previously, cricketer Virat Kohli had taken paternity leave while the team was playing a series of test matches against Australia to fulfil his daddy duties.
It’s high time we stop judging men because they choose to be better people, partners, and fathers.