Chandigarh: Several Punjab leaders including Rajya Sabha MP Harbhajan Singh, a former cricketer, Monday came out in support of fast bowler Arshdeep Singh who is facing brutal social media trolls for dropping a catch in an India-Pakistan match in Dubai. Pakistan won the Super 4 Asia Cup encounter on Sunday by five wickets.
AAP MP Raghav Chadha, former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, Punjab Sports Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, and BJP leader Manjinder Sirsa also backed the 23-year-old fast bowler.
Ex-cricketer and Aam Aadmi Party MP Harbhajan Singh slammed those saying ”cheap things” about Arshdeep.
”Stop criticizing young @arshdeepsinghh,” he tweeted. ”No one drops the catch purposely..we are proud of our boys .. Pakistan played better.. shame on such people who r putting our guys down by saying cheap things on this platform bout arsh and team.. Arsh is GOLD.” Chadha also said the kind of hate Arshdeep was being subjected to is appalling. ”Let us cut that young man some slack. Arshdeep is an amazing talent and will lead the Indian bowling attack in the coming years. No hate can pull him down,” said Chadha in his tweet.
Punjab Sports Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer said Arshdeep is the future of the nation. ”Victory or defeat is given in-game. @arshdeepsinghh is an upcoming star who carved out a niche in a short span. Performed excellently against Pakistan. Regressive psyche to troll him on the drop of just a catch. Arshdeep is the future of the Nation. Inspiration for youth. Hate has no place in sports,” said Hayer in his tweet.
He spoke to Arshdeep’s mother Baljit Kaur on the phone and told her that Punjab and the whole country were with him.
Former CM Amarinder Singh said it was unfortunate that Arshdeep was being mocked over dropping the catch.
”Such things (dropping a catch) happen in sports, especially under such tremendous pressure. We must support and encourage our sports heroes. Arshdeep, do not be disappointed. You have a long and glorious career ahead,” he said in a Facebook post. BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa also slammed those who targeted Arshdeep and called him a ‘Khalistani’.
”Arshdeep Singh is a bright player. He played very well and everybody in the country stands by him,” he said in a video message. In a tweet, he said, ”India comes before Cricket. I reject Pak propaganda and stand with Arshdeep Singh.”