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NEW DELHI: A torrent of social media abuse was aimed at India's only Muslim player, the bowler Mohammed Shami, after his side were thrashed by arch rivals Pakistan at the cricket T20 World Cup. Violence against Muslims was also reported after the emphatic 10-wicket win on Sunday, Pakistan's first against India at any World Cup.

Cricket clashes between Hindu-majority India and Muslim Pakistan frequently heighten tensions between the neighbours, who have fought three wars since their independence in 1947. The 31-year-old Shami became the main target after the defeat in Dubai, even though India captain Virat Kohli acknowledged that his side had been "outplayed".

Thousands of vitriolic messages were left on social media, including Shami's Instagram account, calling him a traitor and alleging he had taken money to throw the game. But a host of Indian cricket legends, fans, and politicians also spoke out against the hate onslaught and urged support for him.

10 wickets and 13 balls to spare: Twitter erupts with celebrations as Pakistan thrash India

"The online attack on Mohammad Shami is shocking and we stand by him. He is a champion and anyone who wears the India cap has India in their hearts far more than any online mob," said former Test player Virender Sehwag.

"We support every person who represents Team India," said batting legend Sachin Tendulkar. Shami "is a committed, world-class bowler. He had an off day like any other sportsperson can have."

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