Monday Oct 25, 2021
Former left-arm fast bowler Irfan Pathan Monday spoke out against the online trolling and abuse dished out to Indian fast bowler Mohammad Shami.
After Pakistan trounced India in the high-voltage match Sunday night, social media was filled with abuses for India's only Muslim player.
Many journalists and cricketers spoke out against the treatment Shami suffered at the hands of online trolls. Among them was also Irfan Pathan.
Taking to Twitter, Irfan Pathan said he had also been on the losing side of many India-Pakistan encounters but was never told to go to Pakistan.
"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 the India of a few years back. THIS (expletive) NEEDS TO STOP. #Shami," he tweeted.
AFP adds: Violence against Muslims in India was also reported after the emphatic win on Sunday, Pakistan's first against India at any World Cup.
Cricket clashes between Hindu-majority India and Muslim Pakistan frequently heighten tensions between the neighbours, who have fought three wars since their independence in 1947.
The 31-year-old Shami became the main target after the defeat in Dubai, even though India captain Virat Kohli acknowledged that his side had been "outplayed".
Hundreds of messages were left on Shami's Instagram account saying he was a "traitor" and should be thrown out of the Indian team.
But many fans and politicians also urged support for him, calling on Indian players to reject the hate messages just as they had backed the Black Lives Matter movement by taking a knee.
"Team India your BLM knee-taking counts for nothing if you can´t stand up for your teammate who is being horribly abused and trolled on social media," Omar Abdullah, a former chief minister in the Muslim-majority region of Kashmir, said on Twitter.
"Ignore the haters, most of India's grateful for your effort," said another supporter on Instagram.