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T20 World Cup: Will Virat Kohli take a Rani Rampal like stand for Mohammed Shami?

Mohammed Shami was trolled and accused of accepting money from Pakistan and having fixed the match after India's loss yesterday.

Virat Kohli heaped plenty of praise on Pakistan

Virat Kohli leads India off the field after their loss against Pakistan [Source: BCCI]


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 25 Oct 2021 12:50 PM GMT

The Indian cricket team fell to a loss against arch-rivals Pakistan yesterday in the ongoing ICC men's T20 World Cup. This was the first time that India lost to Pakistan in a World Cup encounter.

Though thankfully no incidents of stone-pelting and effigy burning of any players have been reported so far, the country's ace pace bowler Mohammad Shami was trolled mercilessly across various social media platforms.

A glance through one of Shami's Instagram posts shows how much hate was directed towards the Bengal fast bowler. The 31-year-old bowled the 18th over of Pakistan's chase yesterday and was belted badly by Mohammed Rizwan as the men in green scored the required 17 runs in just five deliveries.

While the Indian team failed to perform as a unit at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, with the batsmen failing to post a par total before the collective struggle of bowlers, Mohammed Shami was singled out by fans for the loss.

He was even accused of accepting money from Pakistan and having fixed the match and there have been no comments whatsoever from the team management or the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).


A couple of months back something similar happened during India's campaign at the Tokyo Olympics. Vandana Katariya – the star striker of the country's women's hockey team, and her family were subjected to casteist abuse after the team fell to a defeat against Argentina in the semifinal.

While much like today the actions were condemned by a lot of people then, what stood out was a strong statement made by captain Rani Rampal.

"It's such a bad thing which has happened. We work so hard to represent our country. Stop all these things like discriminating on religion, casteism because we work above all these things. We come from different parts of India, follow different religions. But when we come here we work together for India. It's so shameful when we see people indulging in such behaviour," Rani had said then.


The Indian men's team took a knee yesterday showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. While both the teams and the umpires seemed to have almost forgotten that they had to take a knee, the Indian opener and vice-captain Rohit Sharma reminded the Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and the umpire that they are going to do it.

Though it was certainly a wonderful act by the Indian team taking the knee, is it not time that someone from the leadership group speaks up for Mohammed Shami and what he has been subjected to?

Virat Kohli is known for his leadership qualities. The way he stood up for his bowlers Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah when they were racially abused earlier this year in Australia was commendable. Kohli was not even with the team when he spoke up for his teammates.

With Mohammed Shami subjected to humiliating comments during an event as prestigious as the World Cup, is it not time that Virat takes a Rani Rampal like stand or Virat takes a Virat like stand?

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