Hundreds of messages were left on Shami's Instagram account saying he was a "traitor" and should be thrown out of the Indian team
Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan has thrown weight behind pace bowler Mohammed Shami on Tuesday, after the 31-year-old was targeted online following his team's 10-wicket defeat by arch-rivals Pakistan in the Twenty20 World Cup.
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.
In a tweet on social media website Twitter, Rizwan urged people to respect their stars while also stating that “this game should bring people together and not divide them”.
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— Mohammad Rizwan (@iMRizwanPak) October 26, 2021
Please respect your stars. This game should bring people together & not divide 'em #Shami #PAKvIND pic.twitter.com/3p70Ia8zxf
"The online attack on Shami is shocking and we stand by him. He is a champion and anyone who wears the India cap has India in their hearts far more than any online mob. With you Shami," former India opener Virender Sehwag wrote on Twitter.
Former India batsman VVS Laxman reminded fans that Shami had been a "stellar performer" for India for eight years and helped them win many matches.
"He can't be defined by one performance. My best wishes are always with him. I urge fans and followers of the game to support @MdShami11 and the Indian team," Laxman wrote in a tweet.
Former India pace bowler Irfan Pathan, who is also Muslim, said he was angered by the abuse.
"Even I was part of #IndvsPak battles on the field where we have lost but never been told to go to Pakistan," Pathan said on Twitter. "THIS CRAP NEEDS TO STOP."
Another former paceman Venkatesh Prasad added: "355 international wickets. It is India that beats in the heart of anyone representing India.
"And Shami has been an outstanding and yet unsung servant of Indian cricket. More power to him."