Mohammed Shami slammed trolls as neither real fans nor real Indians

Mohammed Shami slammed trolls as neither real fans nor real Indians

Synopsis

NEW DELHI: In his first comments since being subjected to violent online abuse following India's defeat to Pakistan at the T20 World Cup, India's most prominent Muslim cricketer Mohammed Shami denounced trolls as neither real fans nor real Indians.

Mohammed Shami slammed trolls as neither real fans nor real Indians

Mohammed Shami. © India News Sports

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NEW DELHI: In his first comments since being subjected to violent online abuse following India’s defeat to Pakistan at the T20 World Cup, India’s most prominent Muslim cricketer Mohammed Shami denounced trolls as neither real fans nor real Indians.

After India was crushed by their arch-rivals last October on their way to an embarrassingly early exit from the flagship competition, Shami, 31, became the major focus of vitriol.

Cricket matches between Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan frequently exacerbate tensions between the neighbours, who have been at odds since 1947 and have fought three wars.

Thousands of hate remarks flooded social media after India’s loss, including on Shami’s Instagram account, labeling him a traitor and accusing him of taking money to spoil the game.

Shami stated in an interview on Monday that individuals who ridiculed him were neither “real fans nor were they real Indians”.

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“When people with unknown social media profiles or even one with a few followers point fingers at someone, they don’t have anything to lose,” the paceman said.

“For them nothing is at stake because they are nobodies… we don’t need to engage with them.”

Shami went on to say that he didn’t have to prove his attachment to India to anyone.

“We know what we are, we don’t need to say what India means to us because we represent the country and fight for the country.

“So we don’t need to prove anything to anyone by saying or reacting to such trolls.”

Shami has taken 209 wickets in 57 Test matches with a strike rate of nearly 50 since his debut in 2013.

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He is presently unable to play due to a wrist injury, but he stated that the current Indian speed attack is the best in history.

“With the kind of Test match bowling we have now, I don’t think we ever had such a period in our cricketing history,” he said.

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