Team India left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh has been the talk of the town after he droppped a potentially game-changing catch of Asil Ali who put finishing touches to hand the Men in Blue their first loss in the ongoing Asia Cup 2022 on Sunday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. As India went on to lose the crucial fixture by five wickets, Arshdeep became a target of trolls on social media.
A section of Twitter users hurled vile abuse at the young pacer blaming him for India’s 5-wicket loss at the hands of their arch-rivals. The dropped catch came to haunt Rohit Sharma & Co. as Ali delivered a match-winning knock of 16 runs off 8 balls in the Super 4 encounter. Fans soon vented out their anger on social media, targeting the young pacer.
The pacer was subjected to ‘Khalistan’ slurs on social media, following which, the IT ministry summoned Wikipedia executives for a meeting to seek an explanation on how Arshdeep’s Wikipedia page entry was changed to reflect his ‘Khalistan’ association.
Earlier in the day, BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa, in a key development, highlighted that several Pakistan-based accounts were responsible for targetting Arshdeep and Sikhs in general. He said, “I wholeheartedly condemn Pakistan’s anti-Sikh narrative & deliberate targeting of Arshdeep Singh to portray him as the reason of India’s loss. The media channels, journalists and influencer accounts of Pak are hitting at Arshdeep in context of Khalistan.”
Sirsa, however, urged the Centre to take a stringent action against this propaganda which was allegedly unleashed by Pakistani agencies.
Arshdeep Singh has received backing from the cricket fraternity including the likes of Virat Kohli, Harbhajan Singh, and other prominent figures. The current and former cricketers took to social media and posted messages in support of Arshdeep.
Virat Kohli backed Arshdeep and said it would be unfair to hold him responsible for India’s five-wicket defeat on Sunday. “Anyone can make a mistake under pressure, it was a big match & conditions were a bit tight. Senior players come to you & you learn from them so that the next time the opportunity comes, you hope to take such crucial catches,” he said.
India’s former specialist spin bowler Harbhajan Singh lent his support on Twitter, writing: “Stop criticising young Arshdeep. No one drops the catch purposely..we are proud of our boys .. Pakistan played better.. shame on such people who r putting our own guys down by saying cheap things on this platform bout Arsh and team.. Arsh is GOLD.”