NEW DELHI (AFP) – India’s most prominent Muslim cricketer Mohammed Shami has slammed trolls as neither real fans nor real Indians in his first comments since being subjected to vitriolic online abuse following the defeat to Pakistan at the T20 World Cup.
Shami, 31, became the main target of abuse after India were thrashed by their arch-rivals last October on their way to an embarrassingly early exit from the marquee tournament.
Cricket clashes between India and Pakistan frequently heighten tensions between the neighbours, who have fought three wars since 1947.
After’s India’s loss, thousands of hate messages flooded social media, including Shami’s Instagram account, calling him a traitor and alleging he had taken money to throw the game.
In an interview with the Indian Express yesterday, Shami said those who trolled him were neither “real fans nor were they real Indians”.
Shami added that he did not need to prove his loyalty 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.”