Online trolls threaten to rape the nine-month-old daughter of Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli after the country’s disastrous performances at the T20 World Cup
Shameless online trolls have threatened to rape the nine-month-old daughter of Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and Bollywood actress, Anushka Sharma.
Following the loss, by 10 wickets, Kohli spoke out on social media in defence of his team mate Mohammed Shami. As the only Muslim player in the Indian team, the bowler was targeted for his religion after the dismal performance.
The skipper Kohli denounced the trolling of Shami, branding the anonymous social media users as ‘spineless’, and now they have turned their toxic attention to him and his family.
The daughter of Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and his wife Anushka Sharma has been threatened online by ‘shameful’ trolls
The Delhi Commission for Women has called on police to investigate the abuse of the couple nine-month-old daughter
Today, the Delhi Commission for Women has urged police in the Indian capital to take action over the online threats.
Swati Maliwal, chairperson of the women’s group, described the online comments targeting Kohli’s daughter as ‘very shameful’.
‘The team has made us proud thousands of times, why this silliness in defeat,’ Ms Maliwal said in a tweet.
‘I have issued notice to Delhi Police, arrest all those who threatened 9 months old girl with rape!’
The Indian team, and Kohli in particular, have been widely criticised after poor performances and out-dated captaincy at the T20 World Cup.
The Indians followed up their loss to Pakistan with an eight-wicket defeat to New Zealand.
Indian fast bowler Mohammed Shami was targeted by online trolls after defeat to Pakistan
But it was the team’s hapless performance against neighbours Pakistan that riled fans. In the aftermath of the defeat, Shami, the only Muslim in the side, was subjected to appalling online abuse.
To his credit, Kohli did not flinch in the face of the trolling and used a pre-match press conference before the New Zealand fixture to call out Shami’s anonymous abusers, labelling them ‘spineless’.
‘Attacking someone over their religion is the most pathetic thing one can do as a human. That is a very sacred and personal thing. People take out their frustration because they have no understanding of what we do,’ Kohli told reporters on the eve of the Super 12 encounter.
Kohli has presided over a disastrous T20 World Cup campaign in which India lost to Pakistan
And he reminded those trolling Shami of the Amroha-born fast bowler’s passion to play for the country.
‘They have no understanding of the fact that Shami has won India a number of matches in the last few years and has been our primary bowler along with Jasprit Bumrah when it comes to making an impact in Test cricket,’ said Kohli, who is widely considered to be one of the finest batsman of his generation.
Kohli has been resolute in his defence of team mate Mohammed Shami
‘If people can overlook that and his passion for the country, I honestly don’t even want to waste one minute of my life to give any attention to those people; neither does Shami or anyone else in the team. The team stands by him and we are backing him 200 percent,’ added Kohli, who has made 91 T20 international appearances for India and averages 52.72 runs in the format.
‘All those who have attacked him can come with more force if they want to, our brotherhood, our friendship within the team cannot be shaken. I can guarantee you that as captain of the team that we have built a culture where these things will not infiltrate into the environment even .0001 percent. That is an absolute guarantee from my side.’
Shami has taken 12 wickets for India in 14 T20 internationals, but is yet to take a wicket at the World Cup, although he is by far from being the only player to struggle. His side has only taken two wickets in the competition so far.
However, the right-arm bowler has been successful in other formats, where he has 195 Test wickets and 148 in One Day Internationals.
A heavy defeat to Pakistan at the T20 World Cup has prompted disgusting online abuse
Kohli was supported in his defence of Shami by India cricket legends, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Anil Kumble. However, following his comments the trolls have turned attention towards the captain and his family.
The sickening abuse has prompted the former Pakistan captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq, to come out in support of Kohli, his wife and daughter.
‘People need to understand it’s just a sport, we might be playing for different countries but we are a part of the same community,’ Inzamam said. ‘You have every right to criticise Kohli’s batting or captaincy but nobody has the right to target a cricketer’s family. A few days back [after India’s defeat by Pakistan] something similar happened with Mohammed Shami. Victory and loss is a part of the game.’
Five-year-old daughter of former India captain, MS Dhoni, has also been targeted online
It is not the first time the child of a high-profile Indian cricketer has been threatened with rape.
Last year, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s five-year-old daughter Ziva was targeted online, after an Instagram user sent rape threats.
Dhoni is a former captain national team, which won the inaugural 2007 ICC World Twenty20 competition, among other international honours.
However, Dhoni’s daughter was attacked online after Chennai Super Kings (CSK) lost against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
India are back in action tomorrow in Group Two, against Afghanistan, before they rake on Scotland on Friday and Namibia on Monday.