Pakistan leg-spinner Usama Mir has backed Shadab Khan after the latter was criticised on social media for his below-par performances in the recent past.
Shadab claimed six wickets, with four of them coming against Nepal, in five matches of the Asia Cup 2023 at an average of 40.83.
“To our dear fans, thank you for your support wherever we are in the World. It truly means a lot,” Mir said on X, which was formerly known as Twitter.
“But support should be a two-way thing. In good times everyone praises us. And then as soon as we have a few bad games we are the worst cricketers of all time and nobody is with us. This really hurts. We need your support more in the bad times than in the good.
“The most important thing I'd like to say is that 1-2 matches don't define a cricketer. If Shadab Khan doesn't perform in a few games, he's not a bad cricketer. Now everyone is saying he's in the team due to 'friendship' and other stuff. It is nonsense. I've seen first-hand how he and the rest train. We give our 100% effort. Now if Shadab performs in the next game, all of a sudden, he is the greatest etc etc? We need to stop being so reactionary as fans.”
He also spoke about how the fans treated him after he was unable to perform in accordance with expectations for the national side.
“When I debuted for Pakistan, everyone was hyping me up. I had a great year from National T20, to the Pakistan Cup, to the PSL, to the T20 Blast, to the Hundred and also the New Zealand ODI series. After 1/2 average games vs Afghanistan suddenly I'm an average bowler and don't deserve to be in the side? This is crazy,” he said.
He also urged fans to stop unnecessary criticism since it adversely impacts the players.
“I think we need to stop this unnecessary criticism. It does have an impact on players. The management and captain put in tremendous effort for Pakistan's success. And I am confident we will find it,” he said.
“We're going through a slight tough time at the moment but I'm hopeful the Pakistan team will bring happiness and joy very soon. Remember our team in your prayers. Pakistan Zindabad,” he concluded.