Arshdeep Singh bowls during a match at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. File / AFP
Singh missed the easy but crucial chance in the closing stages of the arch rivals' dramatic Asia Cup clash on Sunday night won by Pakistan in Dubai in the final over — when the 23-year-old was the bowler.
Singh's Wikipedia entry was briefly altered to link him to the Khalistan Sikh separatist movement, reportedly prompting the government to summon executives from the open-edit online encyclopedia.
"He is a Khalistani and has secret ties with Pakistan," said one Twitter user. "Arshdeep Singh has taken money as a Khalistani agent," wrote another.
After the match, star Indian player Virat Kohli backed Singh, saying that "anyone can make a mistake." The hashtag #IndiaWithArshdeep, supporting the young player, was trending on Twitter.
It is not the first time that cricketers from Hindu-majority India's religious minorities have faced such attacks.
Last year Muslim player Mohammed Shami became a target of abuse after India were thrashed by Pakistan in the T20 World Cup.
Thousands of hate messages flooded social media, including Shami's Instagram account, calling him a traitor and alleging he had taken money to throw the game.
Kohli, at the time India captain, also vigorously backed Shami, saying: "Attacking someone over their religion is the most pathetic thing that a human being can do."
The Super Four match on Sunday was the second time India and Pakistan have played against each other in the ongoing Asia Cup. India won the first game and they may meet again in the final on Sunday.
The Asian Cricket Council accepted the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) hybrid model for the event after India refused to travel to Pakistan. Sri Lanka was chosen as joint host with Pakistan for the Aug. 30-Sept. 17 tournament.
Middle-order batter Tayyab Tahir scored a brilliant century to help Pakistan post a massive total on the board after being asked to bat first. Chasing a target of 353 runs, India were dismissed for 224 runs in 40 overs.
"We have picked 18 players for the Afghanistan series and one less for the Asia Cup and Ashraf was the best pace-bowling allrounder available to us," Inzamam said in Lahore. Babar Azam will lead the squad throughout.
A resilient Afghanistan will fancy their chances of an upset win against the formidable and the favorites Pakistan in their Super 4 match at the Asia Cup in Sharjah on Wednesday.
Afghanistan got their campaign off to a stellar start but lost their momentum with a loss against Sri Lanka, whom they had mauled in the first encounter.
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