Ever since Pakistan went down to India in Manchester, the fans have made it a point to lash out at Pakistani cricketers. These trolls have even singled out players and have also targetted their families, blaming them for keeping their personal interests over the team. Videos and photos of Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza at a shisha bar went viral on social media a day after Pakistan lost their 7th match in World Cup history to India and this made people target the couple for impeding Pakistan's chances against India.
However, former cricketers, Shoaib Akhtar and Virender Sehwag hit out at the trolls and said that no one had to right to drag the families of the players even if their team did not perform well on the field. Several fans had targeted Sania Mirza after she was seen having a late dinner with husband and Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik.
'What is Sania Mirza's fault'
Speaking on his own YouTube channel, Shoaib Akhtar said he did not understand why some Pakistani fans chose to blame Sania Mirza for the defeat: "People are blaming Sania Mirza (for Pakistan's defeat). Pakistan fans are saying she was the reason for the defeat. What is her fault?
"She sometimes has to fend off (online) attacks from Indians or Pakistanis. Now the Pakistanis are after her.. they are asking her why she went there.
"Shoaib Malik is her husband. They went to have a meal together.. what wrong did they do?" Akhtar said.
He was supported by former Indian opener and captain Virender Sehwag who said that the private lives of the players should always be kept separate from the way they perform on the field and that their families should never be dragged into any controversies.
"I don't think you can connect personal life to their professional careers. I had said this before as well when Virat Kohli got out and Anushka Sharma was there to watch the match. I said you cannot comment on anyone's family. No matter how emotional you are about your team and your players but you cannot go into their personal life," Sehwag said.
Sehwag also said that it was okay to raise question marks on Shoaib Malik's performance on the field and that there could be debates over his position in the side as a player, but no one had the right to infringe his personal space and comment on how he leads his life off the field.