Punjab Education Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer has come out in support of Indian cricketer Arshdeep Singh, who is being brutally trolled for a missed catch in the India-Pakistan T20 nail-biter in Dubai last night.
The 24-year-old medium pacer from Punjab’s Mohali dropped a crucial sitter in the Asia Cup match that ended with Pakistan clinching victory with five wickets in hand and one ball to spare. The cricketer has been mercilessly trolled for the missed catch, with a section of social media users blaming him for the defeat.
In a message of solidarity to the cricketer’s mother, the minister told her over the phone, “If you are given the ball in the death overs, then it signifies that the skipper trusts you. Everyone has their good and bad days. Sports should be treated like it is. He has performed in every game. You and me will go to receive him at the airport.”
Responding to the criticism of her son’s performance in last night’s match, Arshdeep’s mother said: “See, even (Virat) Kohli had a slump in the previous matches, and he just got back to form. I have asked him (Arshdeep) to return with the Cup.”
Mr Hayer told Arshdeep’s mother: “You ask Arsh to focus on the game and once he returns after winning the game (the final), we will receive him with pomp and show.”
Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh also weighed in for the young Punjab bowler. In a Facebook post, Mr Singh said: “Quite unfortunate that Arshdeep Singh is being mocked at for a dropped catch. Such things happen in sports, particularly under such tremendous pressure. We must support and encourage our sports heroes.”
In an attempt to cheer up the left-arm bowler, Mr Singh further said: “Arshdeep, don’t get disheartened. You have a long and glorious career ahead.”
Criticising the way Arshdeep has been trolled for the dropped catch, Mr Hayer said: “Regressive psyche to troll him for dropping just a catch. Arshdeep is future of the nation. Inspiration for youth. Hate has no place in sports.”
In his post-match comments, former India captain Virat Kohli, the top scorer for India in the match, said: “Anyone can make that mistake, the situation was tight. It was a high-pressure game and mistakes can happen. I still remember, I was playing my first Champions Trophy and the match was against Pakistan. I had played a very bad shot against Shahid Afridi. I was watching the ceiling till 5 am, I was not able to sleep, and I thought my career was over, but these things are natural.”
Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez also stood by the Indian bowler, saying: “My request to all Indian team fans. In sports, we make mistakes as we are humans. Please don’t humiliate anyone for these mistakes.”