Punjab leaders back Arshdeep trolled for dropping catch; sports minister speaks to his mother

Pakistan won the Super 4 Asia Cup encounter on Sunday by five wickets. Arshdeep could not hold onto a relatively easy catch of Pakistan batsman Asif Ali in the 18th over

Arshdeep Singh (courtesy: Twitter/ @MishiAmit
Arshdeep Singh (courtesy: Twitter/ @MishiAmit


Several Punjab leaders including Rajya Sabha MP Harbhajan Singh, who is a former cricketer, Monday came out in support of fast bowler Arshdeep Singh who was brutally trolled on social media for dropping a catch in an India-Pakistan match in Dubai.

Sports Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer spoke to Arshdeep's mother Baljit Kaur over the phone and told her Punjab and the whole country were with him.

"Victory or defeat is given in game. @arshdeepsinghh is upcoming star who carved out niche in short span. Performed excellent against Pakistan. Regressive psyche to troll him on drop of just a catch. Arshdeep is future of Nation. Inspiration for youth. Hate has no place in sports," Hayer said in a tweet.

Pakistan won the Super 4 Asia Cup encounter on Sunday by five wickets. Arshdeep could not hold onto a relatively easy catch of Pakistan batsman Asif Ali in the 18th over.

AAP MP Raghav Chadha, former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, Punjab Sports Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, state Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, Leader of Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa and BJP leader Manjinder Sirsa issued statement backing the 23-year-old fast bowler.

A social media campaign #IStandWithArshdeep also started on Twitter in support of the left-armer.

Ex-cricketer and Aam Aadmi Party MP Harbhajan Singh slammed those saying "cheap things" about Arshdeep.

"Stop criticising 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 own 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.

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."

Punjab Congress chief Warring said he was proud of Arshdeep. #IStandWithArshdeep, he said in his tweet.

SAD chief Sukhbir Badal said calling Arshdeep 'Khalistani' was against the essence of the spirit of sports.

"We are 1st & foremost Indian. Hindu,Muslim,Sikh & Christians later. Sikhs are the most patriotic & nationalist community. To label @arshdeepsinghh Khalistani just because of a dropped catch is against the essence of our national psyche & spirit of sports. #IStandWithArshdeep," said Badal.

In his tweet, Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa said, "We are proud of you @arshdeepsinghh. I am sure you will bring many laurels for the nation in near future. Don't let online trolls affect your positivity and energy. Next match the nation will look forward to an amazing performance by you."

Punjab BJP general secretary Subhash Sharma called Arshdeep a pride of India and said the whole country is with the cricketer.

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