NEW DELHI ,OCT 25 : A torrent of social media abuse was aimed at India s only Muslim player, the bowler Mohammed Shami, after his side were thrashed by arch rivals Pakistan at the cricket T20 World Cup.
Violence against Muslims in India was also reported after the emphatic 10-wicket win on Sunday, Pakistan s first against India at any World Cup.
Cricket clashes between Hindu-majority India and Muslim 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 acknowledged that his side 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.
But many 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 in the Muslim-majority region of Kashmir, said on Twitter.
“Ignore the haters, most of India s grateful for your effort,” said another supporter on Instagram.
People set off celebratory gunfire in the Pakistani cities of Islamabad and Karachi after the famous win, while hundreds ignited firecrackers in Muslim-majority occupied Kashmir.