Indië — one of the tournament favorites — failed to advance to the final stages of the T20 World Cup following defeats to New Zealand and archrival Pakistan that were met with a flood of abuse against the team on social media.
Bowler Mohammed Shami, the only Muslim player in India’s squad, bore the brunt of the vitriol following Pakistan’s 10-wicket victory on October 24 — the first time India had lost to its neighbor in a World Cup match.
Shami was targeted on Instagram and Twitter by people who blamed him for the loss, with some posting Islamophobic messages.
During a news conference on October 30, Kohli criticized the “spineless people on social media” who attacked Shami.
“Aan my, attacking someone over their religion is the most pathetic thing that a human being can do,” Kohli said. “We stand by him fully, we’re backing him 200%… our brotherhood, our friendship within the team — nothing can be shaken.”
Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar also getwiet in support of Shami
, noem hom 'n “world-class bowler.
Whenever India loses against Pakistan, the trolling develops a “very peculiar, ontstellend, parochial character,” according to cricket author and former Indian National Congress party spokesperson Sanjay Jha.
“(Wanneer) Mohammad Shami underperforms, the message through internet trolling is that he’s anti-national and a traitor,” Het Jha gesê.
The abuse is symptomatic of a larger atmosphere of distrust against Indian Muslims, hy het bygevoeg.
Despite widespread online abuse — especially against women and Muslims — arrests of trolls are rare in India. Legal experts and activists have pointed to the country’s lackluster cybersecurity laws and bureaucracy that slow down investigations.