England women’s cricketer Alex Hartley has revealed online abuse following her tweet on England men’s team after their 10-wicket defeat against India in the third Test that catapulted into a Twitter spat with batsman Rory Burns.
In a disastrous batting performance, England managed only 112 runs in their first innings. They, however, did well to bowl out India for just 145 and claw their way back into the game. But the visitors failed with the bat again in the second innings and were all out for just 81. Set a target of 49, India reached home inside eight overs without losing any wicket.
“Nice of the England boys to get this test match finished just before England Women play tonight. Catch them on @btsportcricket,” Hartley had tweeted.
The tweet did not go down well with many England cricket fans and players including Burns, who reacted to the post.
“Very disappointing attitude considering all the ‘boys’ do to support the women’s game,” Burns commented in a now-deleted tweet which was also liked by the likes of Ben Stokes and James Anderson among others.
Nottinghamshire batsman Ben Duckett, who won four caps for England and played his last Test in 2016, joined in by calling it an “average tweet”.
Hartley insists the tweet was purely tongue-in-cheek but, in her No Balls podcast with current England international Kate Cross, said she had received a barrage of social media abuse.
“I’ve described my tweet on my podcast [No Balls, with Hartley’s best friend, the England bowler Kate Cross] as ‘clumsy’, and I can see that an England player seeing it would be really annoyed as it seems like I was celebrating their loss. I wasn’t, and before Rory’s tweet it had gone down really well with lots of people saying ‘we’ll watch the women now’. The onslaught I got after Rory retweeted it I wouldn’t wish on anybody,” Hartley was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
“I was really disappointed in the fact that England players, county players, England management, staff liked the tweet from Rory. I just think it highlights a lot of other issues in and around women’s sport that I really didn’t want to bring up and talk about, but have to now. I don’t think we’re supported enough by the men and it was a real shame that they believe they do support us. I think I even had Samit Patel writing, ‘Why would you tweet about women’s cricket?’, which is such a shame. I just hope some good can come of it and it will start conversations behind closed doors,” she added.
Hartley revealed she received death threats from trolls on social media over her tweet for the men’s team while describing the abusers as ‘sad individuals’. The England women’s team spinner is keen to take up the issues surrounding women’s cricket and feels it’s the need of the hour to highlight them.
“If you want to give me death threats you’re the one with issues. I just think they’re sad individuals. I really don’t think I deserve to have people telling me to die [in a hole] and that I’m a really bad role model and women’s sport is rubbish and not worth watching,” said Hartley.