A torrent of social media abuse was targeted at the only Muslim player in the Indian playing XI, Mohammed Shami, after his side were thrashed by arch rivals Pakistan at the T20 World Cup.
Violence against Muslims in India was also reported after the emphatic 10-wicket win on Sunday, Pakistan first victory against India at any World Cup.
Cricket clashes between India and 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 admitted that his team 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.
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Former India batsman Virender Sehwag slammed online trolls for abusing fast bowler Mohammed Shami after India's defeat to Pakistan in the t20 WorldCup on Sunday.
"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," said Sehwag in a tweet.
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
Sehwag's fellow former India opener said that the online trolls are the ones who earlier used to burn players' effigies after a defeat.
Online trolls are the ones who earlier used to burn effigies and throw paint-stones at player’s houses…with an online profile without a face worthy of a profile pic.— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) October 25, 2021
Former cricketer Irfan Pathan also spoke up in support of Shami. “Even I was part of #IndvsPak battles on the field where we have lost but never been told to go to Pakistan!” he tweeted.
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 of few years back. THIS CRAP NEEDS TO STOP. #Shami— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) October 25, 2021
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 of Kashmir, said on Twitter.
"Ignore the haters, most of India's grateful for your effort," said another supporter on Instagram.
Gautam Gambhir, a former India Test cricketer who has become an MP for the Bharatiya Janata Party, said it was "shameful" that people were celebrating Pakistan's win.
India was defeated by Pakistan in their first match of 2021 T20 World Cup. Shaheen Afridi was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan, taking the three crucial wickets of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli. His efforts helped Pakistan restrict India to 151/7.
Pakistan openers Mohammad Rizwan and captain Babar Azam made light work of the 152-run chase, getting to the target in the 18th over to break the World Cup jinx and register their first-ever 10-wicket win in a T20I match.
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