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Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Tendulkar, former players, politicians back Shami after online abuse

The Indian cricket fraternity as well as some politicians, came out in support of Shami, reminding those targeting him that he has represented the country with distinction over several years.

By: Express News Service |
Updated: October 26, 2021 3:03:32 pm
Many linked Shami's religion to his expensive spell in Dubai on Sunday night. (AP)

No sooner had India lost to Pakistan at the T20 World Cup than the bigoted hate machinery got into overdrive looking for convenient scapegoats. Mohammed Shami immediately came on their radar as many linked his religion to his expensive spell in Dubai on Sunday night.

But the Indian cricket fraternity, led by Sachin Tendulkar, as well as some politicians, came out in support of the seamer, reminding those targeting Shami with abuse that he has represented the country with distinction over several years.

“When we support #TeamIndia, we support every person who represents Team India. @MdShami11 is a committed, world-class bowler. He had an off day like any other sportsperson can have. I stand behind Shami & Team India,” Tendulkar tweeted.

Several of his erstwhile teammates joined Tendulkar in backing Shami, who leaked 43 in his 3.5 overs.

“Mohammed Shami has been a stellar performer for India for eight years, playing a significant role in many a victory. He can’t be defined by one performance. My best wishes are always with him. I urge fans & followers of the game to support @MdShami11 and the Indian team,” VVS Laxman posted on the micro-blogging site.

Virender Sehwag wanted Shami to shut the hate-mongers up with an excellent performance in India’s next game.

“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 (show what you can do in the next match),” the former opener said on social media.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh found the targeting of Shami after one indifferent performance “ridiculous.”

“It’s just ridiculous to see such reaction against him. He is a champion and our own proud Indian player who won so many games for us and made us proud,” Harbhajan told The Indian Express.

Former all-rounder Irfan Pathan referred to instances in his own playing career and found the linking of Shami’s performance and his religion uncalled for.

“Even I was part of #IndvsPak battles on the field where we have lost but never been told to go to Pakistan! I’m talking about Flag of India of few years back. THIS CRAP NEEDS TO STOP. #Shami,” he posted.

Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle took to Hindi to suggest that those abusing Shami were not fans of the game in the first place.

“Jo log Mohammad Shami ke baare mein ghatiya baaten kar rahe hain, unse meri ek hi vinati hain. Aap cricket na dekhen. Aur aapki kami mehsoos bhi nahi hogi #Shami #355WicketsforIndia (I have just one request to those abusing Mohammed Shami. Don’t watch cricket. You won’t be missed,” Bhogle tweeted.

The matter also made ripples in the political arena with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressing support for Shami.

“Mohammad #Shami we are all with you. These people are filled with hate because nobody gives them any love. Forgive them,” he said.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah claimed that the Indian team’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement meant little if they can’t prevent one of their own from getting abused.

“#MohammedShami was one of 11 players who lost last night, he wasn’t the only player on the field. Team India your BLM knee taking counts for nothing if you can’t stand up for your team mate who is being horribly abused & trolled on social media,” the vice-president of the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference said.

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi felt the online abuse was a reflection of growing radicalisation in the country.

“Mohammed Shami is being targeted for the defeat of the Indian team yesterday. This indicates that the radicalisation and hatred is growing against Muslims. A cricket team will have 11 members. There is one Muslim in the team and he is being targeted,” the Member of Parliament from Hyderabad said.

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