Punjab Education Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer has defended Indian pacer Arshdeep Singh, who is being brutally trolled for a missed catch during the high-voltage India-Pakistan Asia Cup 2022 clash in Dubai on Sunday, September 4.
In the third ball of the 18th over, when Pakistan needed 32 runs off 15 balls, Ali had slog-swept off leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi. But he got a thick top-edge, which flew towards short third man. Arshdeep, stationed there, put down the sitter as the ball went through his hands. If Arshdeep had taken the catch, Ali would have been out for a duck.
Eventually, Arshdeep trapped Ali lbw in the final over with a pin-point yorker. But by then, he had made 16 runs off eight balls. But with two needed off the last two balls, Pakistan won it as Iftikhar Ahmed got the needed runs with a drive down the ground.
Even before the run was completed, Arshdeep had flicked out the bails at the non-striker's end in disappointment. His teammates had run in to pat his back and console him after the match ended, where Arshdeep had figures of 1-27 in 3.5 overs.
The minister, in a message to the cricketer's mother, Baljit Kaur, told her over the phone: "If you are given the ball in the death overs, then it signifies that the skipper trusts you. Everyone has their good and bad days. Sports should be treated like it is. He has performed in every game. You and me will go to receive him at the airport."
'Win the Cup'
Responding to the criticism Arshdeep's mother said: "See, even (Virat) Kohli had a slump in the previous matches, and he just got back to form. I have asked him (Arshdeep) to return with the Cup."
Hayer told Arshdeep's mother: "You ask Arsh to focus on the game and once he returns after winning the game (the final), we will receive him with pomp and show."
The pacer was targeted by trolls and called him a 'Khalistani'
Slamming the trolling Hayer said: "Regressive psyche to troll him for dropping just a catch. Arshdeep is the future of the nation. Inspiration for youth. Hate has no place in sports."
Meanwhile, former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh also backed the young Punjab bowler.
"Quite unfortunate that Arshdeep Singh is being mocked for a dropped catch. Such things happen in sports, particularly under such tremendous pressure. We must support and encourage our sports heroes," Amarinder Singh said in a Facebook post.
The CM added: "Arshdeep, don't get disheartened. You have a long and glorious career ahead."