Following Team India’s defeat by archrivals Pakistan in the 2021 T20 World Cup, the solitary Muslim player in the Indian playing XI, Mohammed Shami, was subjected to a storm of social media criticism. Abuse towards Muslims was also recorded in India following Pakistan’s impressive 10-wicket triumph over India on Sunday, in their first match in the 2021 T20 World Cup.
Cricket matches among India and Pakistan often increase tensions between both nations, who have battled 3 wars since achieving independence in 1947.
Even though India skipper Virat Kohli admitted that his team had been “outplayed,” the 31-year-old Shami became the major target following the setback in Dubai.
Team India supported the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement by taking a knee
Lots of messages were posted on Shami’s Instagram profile, accusing him of being a “traitor” who should be pulled from the Indian squad. Many fans and politicians, however, expressed support for him, urging Indian players to refuse the hate comments in the same way that they had supported the Black Lives Matter movement by kneeling.
#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.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) October 25, 2021
“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 of Kashmir, said on Twitter.
Following the spectacular victory, people fired celebration gunshots in the Pakistani capitals of Islamabad and Karachi, whereas firecrackers were apparently set off in Kashmir.
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.
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) October 25, 2021
Former India Test cricketer Gautam Gambhir, who is now an MP for the Bharatiya Janata Party, said it was “shameful” that people were cheering Pakistan’s victory.
Those bursting crackers on Pak winning can’t be Indian! We stand by our boys! #Shameful
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) October 25, 2021
Students from Kashmir said they were physically attacked in Punjab. As they watched the last phases of the game, hundreds of guys armed with hockey sticks and batons hit them.
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) October 25, 2021
“They entered our room, switched off the lights, and beat us. They destroyed our laptops,” the student told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity because of fears of more trouble. “We are safe now and we have support from our college. But we didn’t expect this at all. We are Indians.”
Criticising is fine but khiladiyon ko abuse nahi karna chahiye. Ye game hai, better team on that day won. Inhi cricketers ne India ko bohot matches jitaye hain pichle kuch saalon mein. Aur haar kar jeetne wale ko hi baazigar kehte hai na! #indiaVsPakistan #INDvPAK #T20WorldCup21 pic.twitter.com/cLqNmbRQ9T
— Yusuf Pathan (@iamyusufpathan) October 25, 2021
The game also triggered tension in neighboring Bangladesh. According to media reports, two Pakistani supporters were thrashed by Indian fans as they celebrated the victory in one southern area.