When his lightning reflexes and acrobatic catches in the cover region saved us runs and won India matches, nobody cared about where Mohammad Kaif’s religious beliefs lay. When he lifted the Youth World Cup for India in 2000, his teammates Yuvraj Singh, Reetinder Sodhi and Ajay Ratra were standing right behind their captain. And when he paired with Yuvraj Singh in that epic chase of 326 in the final of the Natwest Trophy, his skipper Sourav Ganguly celebrated by taking his jersey off in the Lord’s balcony! So, why are a few toxic trolls losing their shirt over Mohammad Kaif doing the Surya Namaskar?
Along with four pictures, which show him doing the yoga routine, Kaif tweeted: “Surya Namaskar is a complete workout fr the physical system,a comprehensive exercise form without any need fr equipment. #KaifKeFitnessFunde”.
In another tweet, he took on the trolls underlining the holistic fitness utility of the Surya Namaskar.
In all 4pics,I had Allah in my heart.— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) December 31, 2016
Cant understand what doing any exercise,
Surya Namaskar or Gym has to do with religion.It benefits ALL pic.twitter.com/exq5pUclvu
Kaif is, along with Mohammad Azharuddin, considered among our best fielders ever. It is a tribute to his discipline and fitness regime that at 36, he is still plying his trade in the Ranji Trophy. Therefore, it is a gross travesty that a tweet that featured him doing a yoga routine should be termed “not Islamic.”
Internet’s troll army has taken it upon itself to give religious propriety lessons to another cricketer soon after going after swing sensation Mohammed Shami for posing pictures of his family that they again deemed against the tenets of Islam.
Even as Shami was being targeted, one of the first voices of sanity was Kaif’s. He tweeted: “The comments are really really Shameful. Support Mohammed Shami fully.There are much bigger issues in this country. Hope sense prevails.”
Coming from a family of athletes (both his father and elder brother also played cricket at the first class level) Kaif was known not to back off from a challenge on the cricket field. With the trolls, too, his straight-batted defence was dour but effective. Kaif tweeted: “In all 4pics,I had Allah in my heart. Cant understand what doing any exercise, Surya Namaskar or Gym has to do with religion.It benefits ALL.”
As we enter a new year, one hopes cricketers are protected from the deplorable behaviour Twitter trolls reserved for actors Saif and Kareena Kapoor Khan for naming their son Taimur.
At least spare the man whose reverse swing is helping Indian bowling emerge as a force to reckon with and desist from telling a champion cricketer his fitness regime is not fit for people from a particular faith.
It ain’t quite cricket.