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After Mohammad Rizwan, Mitchell Marsh falls prey to India’s ‘legal action’

Complainant recommends Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban Australian player from playing cricket in India

Australia´s Mitchell Marsh plays a shot during the 2023 ICC Men´s Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) final match between India and Australia at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on November 19, 2023.

Despite the World Cup 2023 culminating with Australia’s emphatic win against the hosts India on November 19, controversies still continue to plague the mega-event as a first information report (FIR) was filed against Australian cricketer Mitchell Marsh.

He is the latest cricketer to become a target of such issues after an Indian lawyer lodged a complaint against Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan for uploading a post on social media in favour of Gaza during the World Cup.

The FIR, filed by an RTI activist Pandit Keshav in India’s Uttar Pradesh, cites that the Aussi allrounder’s picture — where he was seen with his feet resting on the World Cup 2023 trophy — has “offended the sentiments” of Indian fans in light of the Rohit Sharma-led side’s defeat in the Ahmedabad final.

Furthermore, the complainant has also sent a copy of the FIR to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking a ban on Marsh from participating in cricketing activities in the country.

The development comes after Indian fast bowler Mohammed Shami had also complained about Marsh’s gesture.

“I am hurt. The trophy for which all the teams in the world fight, the trophy which you want to lift over your head, keeping a foot on that trophy did not make me happy,” Shami said.

This is not the first time that some sort of legal complaint has been filed against a cricketer of a visiting team in India in light of the recently concluded World Cup 2023.

In October, an Indian lawyer filed a complaint to the International Cricket Council (ICC) against Pakistan’s wicket-keeper batsman Rizwan for offering prayer on the ground and voicing support for Gaza which — according to the complaint — “defeated the spirit of sports”.

In his complaint Vineet Jindal — the same lawyer who filed a complaint against Pakistan presenter Zainab Abbas over her “anti-Hindu” statements — urged the top cricketing body to take strict action against Rizwan.

“This is a complaint about Pakistan Cricket Player, Mohammad Rizwan, who was seen offering namaz on the cricket field during his team’s opening match of the ongoing ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 on Friday (October 6) against the Netherlands in Hyderabad […] The act of representation of his religion by Mohammed Rizwan in the field and further followed by his statement in his press conference regarding the dedication of his victory to the people of Gaza further attests to his religious and political ideology,” read the complaint.

Jindal’s complaint was referring to two separate instances, the first one being Rizwan offering prayer in a World Cup 2023 match against the Netherlands. 

Meanwhile, the second prong of the complaint cited the wicket-keeper batsman’s gesture of dedicating Pakistan’s win record-chasing win against Sri Lanka on October 10 — where Rizwan scored an unbeaten 131 runs helping the Green Shirts to successfully complete the highest chase in World Cup history.

“This was for our brothers and sisters in Gaza,” Rizwan wrote on his X account while referring to the 345-run chase.

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