• Monday, December 04, 2023


PM Modi praises Mohammed Shami after India reach World Cup 2023 final: ‘Will be cherished…’

The Indian cricketer was brutally attacked over his Muslim identity in the past after he failed to perform in crunch matches, particularly against arch-rivals Pakistan.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIA fast bowler Mohammed Shami has been in the news in the past for wrong reasons. Conspiracy theory was floated whenever he failed to make it to the country’s playing XI or could not deliver a performance as per the fans’ expectations. His religious identity had come into focus on those occasions, and it was alleged that the cricketer was deliberately targeted because of his minority religion in the Hindu-majority India ruled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party led by prime minister Narendra Modi.

In 2021, Shami was viciously trolled on social media after India lost to arch-rivals Pakistan in the T20 World Cup in Dubai, forcing the then captain Virat Kohli to come to his support.

On Wednesday (15), Indian prime minister Narendra Modi mentioned Shami’s name in a post on X that he made to congratulate Rohit Sharma’s men over their dominating 70-run victory over New Zealand in the semi-final of the 2023 ICC Men’s cricket World Cup.

The pacer took a career-best seven wickets for 57 runs in the game as India bowled out their opponents for 327 runs after setting a mammoth target of 398 in 50 overs. He was adjudged the player of the match despite the fact that India had two centurions in the match, including Kohli who hit a record 50th one-day international hundred, along with Shreyas Iyer, who scored his second successive in the tournament.

It was Shami’s third five-wicket haul in the tournament after he sat out in the first four matches. He took five-wicket hauls on both occasions India played New Zealand and was the leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 23 scalps in just six matches.

While congratulating India in one post, Modi followed it up with another post in which he said, “Today’s Semi Final has been even more special thanks to stellar individual performances too. The bowling by Mohammad Shami in this game and also through the World Cup will be cherished by cricket lovers for generations to come.”

Other Indian politicians such as home minister Amit Shah and the president of the opposition Indian National Congress, Mallikarjun Kharge, also congratulated India for making their first World Cup final after 12 years.

“Enter into the final like a Boss. What an electrifying display of cricketing prowess. All the best for the showdown. Let’s get the cup,” Shah tweeted.

“Many congratulations to Team India for entering the finals of the Cricket World Cup! We are now one step closer to the coveted trophy!” Kharge said.

“Every Indian is filled with utmost joy and immense pride by the stupendous performance of the entire team, especially Virat Kohli’s brilliant record setting century and the 7-wicket haul of Mohammad Shami,” he added.

“Historic victory. Heartiest congratulations to all the countrymen on India’s ‘great’ victory over New Zealand!” Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath tweeted.

India will play the final against the winners of the second semi-final against South Africa and Australia which will be held at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday (16). The final will be held at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad in the prime minister’s home state of Gujarat where the tournament kicked off on October 5.

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