After India’s 10-wicket loss to Pakistan on October 24, former India captain and great batsman Sunil Gavaskar slammed anonymous trolls who targeted pacer Mohammed Shami.
Shami was targeted on a number of social media platforms, the most prominent of which was Instagram. Where many people made derogatory comments about his faith and religious beliefs.
On a day when nothing went right for India, the pacer had a forgettable outing. As Pakistan defeated them for the first time in the World Cups.
Shami was the most expensive bowler on the night, and he was the target of social media backlash.
“Those who are making such remarks, do they matter? I don’t think these faceless trolls matter.
“We don’t care what they have to say, because they have no identity,” said Sunil Gavaskar on India Today.
On the eve of India’s match against New Zealand, Indian captain Virat Kohli came out in favor of Shami, dismissing the “spineless” critics who, according to him, have no value for the players.
Kohli speaks up against these trolls
“Attacking someone over their religion is the most, I would say, pathetic thing that a human being can do,” Kohli said.
“Everyone has the right to voice their opinion but I personally have never even thought of discriminating someone over their religion. This is literally the lowest potential as a human being one can operate at.”
“There’s a reason we are playing on the field and not those spineless people.
“Many people hide their identity in social media then try to troll the players and it is the lowest point in their life,
“All dramas outside due to the lack of self-confidence of them,
“We know how to back the players, there is no value from the outside voice.”
“That [religious beliefs] is a very sacred and a personal thing to every human being and that should be left there.
“People take out their frustrations because they obviously have no understanding of what we do as individuals. They have no understanding of how much effort we put on the field,” he added.
Gavaskar praised Kohli for speaking up and taking a stand that was sorely needed.
“Good to see the way Virat Kohli and other team members have rallied behind Mohammad Shami.
“It is a great sign. Backing each other is the key. This is what we have seen over the last week.”