Former, current players back Shami after online abuse

Former, current players back Shami after online abuse

Online trolls even made attacks on religious grounds

Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan runs to his wicket as India's Mohammed Shami attempts to run him out. Credit: Reuters Photo

India’s loss to Pakistan on Sunday night was humiliating in the sporting sense of it. What happened in the aftermath was utterly shameful.

That India bowed to Pakistan for the first time in a World Cup didn’t sit well with a section of Indian fans. They took potshots at almost all players with Mohammed Shami coming in for some fierce online attack.  

Shami, a bona fide Test specialist, bowled 3.5 overs and conceded 43 runs as India tried to defend a lowly 151 runs in their T20 World Cup opener.

As his spell went on a downward spiral, the Indian paceman’s social media accounts were flooded with messages which either directly said he was a traitor and that he should be removed from the team or implied the same. The content grew worse by the hour before the likes of Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Yuzvendra Chahal stepped in to try and restore some sanity.

“The online attack on Mohammad Shami is shocking and we stand by him. He is a champion and anyone who wears the India cap has India in their hearts far more than any online mob. With you Shami. Agle match mein dikado jalwa,” tweeted former India opener Sehwag.

Harbhajan wrote: ”We love you @MdShami11.”

Chahal added: “We are so proud of you @MdShami11 bhaiya.”

Former India pacer RP Singh tweeted: “@MdShami1 is an Indian cricketer and we are proud of him. To target him after the loss against Pak is pathetic.”

Shami, who has 195 wickets in Tests and 160 wickets in limited-overs cricket, wasn’t the only one targeted in the wake of the loss, but no one had it as bad as the only Muslim player in the team and linked his below par performance to his religion. Some even said he should “move back to his motherland”.

Minor clashes in the wake of an India-Pakistan contest have become commonplace in the narrative of the well-chronicled rivalry. In fact, a few such skirmishes were reported late last evening.

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