Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has broken his silence over Islamophobic attack by Hindutva bigots against fast bowler Mohammad Shami after the country’s defeat to Pakistan in T20 World Cup.
Kohli likened the attack on Shami by Hindutva bigots to ‘the most pathetic thing human being can do.’
Kohli was quoted as saying, “There is a good reason why we are playing on the field and not some bunch of spineless people on social media that have no courage to actually speak to any individual in person. This is the lowest level of human form, attacking someone over religion is the most pathetic thing human being can do.”
The Indian cricket captain, according to the ESPNCricinfo website, said, “Everyone has the right to voice their opinion, but personally have never even thought of discriminating (against) someone oveer their religion.”
????️ @imVkohli: Attacking someone over religion is the most pathetic thing human being can do
The #India captain stands fully in support with Mohammed Shami after the bowler was targeted on social media after the loss to #Pakistan #T20WorldCup pic.twitter.com/Yxxj5jpIFV
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) October 30, 2021
Kohli added, “People take out their frustrations because they have no understanding of the fact that Mohammad Shami has won India n number of matches… If people can overlook that and his passion for the country, honestly I don’t want to waste even one minute of my life on them.
“We stand by him (Shami) fully and we back him 200%. Our brotherhood cannot be shaken.”
Shami, who conceded 17 runs in his last over against Pakistan, was accused of accepting money from Pakistan after India suffered a 1-wicket humiliating defeat. This was the first time that India had lost to their arch-rivals in a World Cup match.
Kohli had come under attack for not standing with his teammate in the face of what many said was a disgusting attack by Hindutva bigots. But the Indian captain said that ‘this drama created on the outside’ was ‘purely based on people’s frustrations, their lack of self confidence, their lack of compassion, hence they find it so amusing to go after people.’
Several former and current teammates of Shami had taken to social media to slam Hindutva bigots. They included Irfan Pathan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh among others.