Mohammed Shami finished as the leading wicket-taker of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 with just 24 wickets from just 7 matches. The India pacers warmed the bench for the first four matches of the tournament but when he was included after the injury to Hardik Pandya, there was no stopping him. He continued to pick 5-wicket and seven-wicket hauls in the World Cup. Shami had lost his cool on some former Pakistan pacers when they alleged that the International Cricket Council (ICC) was giving different balls to Indian fast bowlers which was helping them pick wickets.
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Shami had posted some Instagram Stories, slamming these conspiracy theories started by the Pakistan players. Shami, who’s also the PUMA brand ambassador, spoke about the allegations and what it made him feel.
“Mujhe kabhi jalan nahi hoti. Agar aap dusre ke success ko enjoy karna sikh loge toh much better player banoge aap. Main kuch nahi karta. Jo hai upar wala dene wala hai (I don’t jet jealous, if you are not enjoying others’ success then you are not learning. I only believe in what the almighty plans for me),” said Shami.
The India fast bowler further said that the root cause for birth of such conspiracy theories is entitlement among the Pakistanis. Shami said that some of the former Pakistani cricketers feel they are the best and the others cannot do what they have done.
“Jab khel raha that World Cup, toh 5 wickets liye, 4 wickets aur fir se 5 wickets liye. Kuch Pakistan ke players ko ye baat hajam nahi ho rahi toh mai kya karu. Kyuki unke dimaag mein ye hai ki ham best hai. Bhai best woh hota hai jo time per perform kare….aap usme controversy banaya chale ja rahe ho,,ki tumhe baal kuch aur colour ki mil rahi hai..kisi aur company ki mil rahi hai….Sudhar jao yaar,” said Shami.
Shami has had his ups and downs but his journey has been visibly inspirational. He not only surpassed the likes of bowling greats to become the highest wicket-taker for the country in the world’s biggest cricket tournament with 55 wickets from 18 matches, but also created history earlier in the semi-finals when he registered India’s best ODI bowling figures of 7-57.