India star Mohammed Shami has slammed trolls over ‘baseless’ rumours about his celebration after the sensational five-wicket haul against Sri Lanka in the World Cup clash last month.
Mohammed Shami was one of the best performers in the World Cup as he finished the competition as the highest wicket-taker despite failing to find a spot in the playing eleven for the first four games. In just seven games, he picked up a staggering 24 wickets. The Bengal star also picked up a record three five-wicket hauls including a stunning 7-wicket haul against New Zealand in the semifinal.
The star pacer received praise throughout the competition but did find himself in a controversy for his celebration after the five-wicket haul against Sri Lanka. A video went viral in which he could be seen kneeling and touching the ground with both hands after dismissing Kasun Rajitha in the 13th over to take his fifth wicket.
A section of social media users claimed that Mohammed Shami wanted to offer prayers on the field but eventually decided against it, fearing backlash. Earlier in the World Cup, Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan had landed in hot water for offering Namaz on the field during the game against Sri Lanka.
Mohammed Shami opens up on his celebration:
While Mohammed Shami did not react to the controversy during the World Cup, he recently opened up about it during an event. Speaking on Agenda Aaj Tak on Wednesday (December 13), the India star stated that he is a proud Indian and a proud Muslim and nobody would have stopped him from praying if he wanted to pray.
“If I wanted to pray, who could stop me? I won’t stop anyone from praying. If I want to pray, I will pray. What’s the problem in this? I will say it with pride that I am a Muslim. I will say it with pride that I am an Indian. What’s the problem in that?
“If I have to ask permission to pray from someone, then why should I be in this country? Have I ever prayed after taking a 5-wicket haul before? I have taken many five-wicket hauls. You tell me where you have to pray, and I will go and pray there,” Mohammed Shami said.
On “Sajda controversy” Md Shami says – I’ve never done it before, nor was trying to do that day & I believe nobody will stop me even if I do it. I don’t believe in disturbing others on ground by doing such things.
— Mr Sinha (@MrSinha_) December 13, 2023
He further revealed the reason behind his celebration, saying: “People like this are not on anyone’s side. They only want to create a ruckus. I bowled with 200 percent intensity in that game against Sri Lanka. Wickets were falling in quick succession and after taking 3 wickets, I thought I had to take a 5-wicket haul today.
“I was tired of not getting a wicket despite beating the edge of the batter so many times. I was bowling at full tilt. So when I got my 5th wicket, I sank to the ground and kneeled. People gave a different meaning to it. I think people who are misinterpreting these things don’t have any other work,” Shami added.
Meanwhile, the 33-year old is likely to receive the prestigious Arjuna Award for his stunning performance in the World Cup. The pacer has not played a competitive game since the World Cup final and is likely to return to action later this month when India lock horns against South Africa in a two-match Test series.