“Respect your stars”: Pakistan cricketer Rizwan speaks out in support of Shami

Since Monday, numerous cricketers have come out in support of India’s bowler Mohammed Shami who faced Islamophobic abuse after Pakistan’s win at T20 World Cup in Dubai, and the latest to join the bandwagon is Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman, Mohammad Rizwan.

From the moment Pakistan completed a 10-wicket victory against India, pacer Shami, a Muslim member of India’s playing-XI, was subjected to terrible anti-Muslim abuse on social media. The match finished in the 18th over bowled by Shami as Pakistan chased down a target of 152 runs with relative ease at the Dubai International Stadium.

“The kind of pressure, struggles & sacrifices a player has to go through for his country & his people is immeasurable. @MdShami11 is a star & indeed of the best bowlers in the world Please respect your stars. This game should bring people together & not divide ’em #Shami #PAKvIND,” said Rizwan who along with Babar Azam scored half-centuries as Pakistan romped home to a comfortable win.

Shami was subjected to comments like, “Bloody Pakistani in Team India.”

On Monday, Indian cricketers Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Yuzvendra Chahal and Harbhajan Singh were among many who tweeted 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! I’m talking about Flag of India of few years back. THIS CRAP NEEDS TO STOP. #Shami,” Irfan Pathan tweeted.

Yusuf Pathan said one can criticise the cricketers but abusing someone following the defeat shouldn’t be done.

“Criticising is fine but khiladiyon ko abuse nahi karna chahiye. Ye game hai, better team on that day won. Inhi cricketers ne India ko bohot matches jitaye hain pichle kuch saalon mein. Aur haar kar jeetnewale ko hi baazigar kehte hai na! #indiaVsPakistan #INDvPAK #T20WorldCup21,” Yusuf Pathan tweeted.

India’s cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and his ex-opening partner Virender Sehwag also came out in support of Shami.