Following Pakistan’s defeat in the semi-final match against Australia on Thursday night, various Indian accounts on Twitter initiated a series of propaganda tweets about Pakistani fans abusing Hassan Ali for dropping a catch and hating on him for being Shia. Multiple social media users from across the border claimed that Hassan was being trolled by fans in Pakistan because he belongs to the Shia sect and his wife is an Indian.
However, the claim was entirely false as Hassan Ali does not belong to the Shia sect. Moreover, the few tweets that were attacking Hassan Ali did not have sectarian hatred. But the Indian accounts shared old videos from anti-Shia rallies in Pakistan where hateful slogans were being chanted, falsely claiming that the slogans were against Hassan Ali.
Hassan dropped a crucial catch of Australian batsman Matthew Wade during Shaheen Afridi’s bowling in the penultimate over of the match. Wade then went on to hit three consecutive sixes to secure Australia a place in Sunday’s final.
While cricket followers in Pakistan were disappointed and heartbroken at the loss, numerous among them took to Twitter to defend and support Hassan Ali. Fans lauded the team’s effort throughout the tournament and reminded each other that one dropped catch was no metric to judge a player while reminiscing about Ali’s incredible performance during Pakistan’s successful Champions Trophy campaign in 2017.
Fellow cricketers, including Pakistan’s women cricket teams captain Bismah Maroof and Shadab Khan, also came out to appreciate and commend the fast bowler.
People on social media also reminded those spreading hate that neither was Hassan a Shia nor was he being targeted based on his religious affiliations.
Earlier Indian fans had targeted Muhammad Shami, the Indian fast bowler, because of his faith, after the loss to Pakistan in the opening game of the tournament.