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Fact Check: Did Shami Criticise Harbhajan Singh After India’s Win Against Sri Lanka? Here’s The Truth


India demolished Sri Lanka by 302 runs at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai with another ruthless performance and confirmed a semifinal spit. Mohammed Shami took five wickets and became ‘Man of the Match’ for his wonderful balling.

Against the backdrop, a post of Shami’s unique wicket celebration by rubbing the ball on his head went viral on social media along with a quote attributed to him. Many users claim that Shami had criticised former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh of helping former Pakistani player Shahid Afridi in collecting donations.

A Facebook user shared this post and wrote, “Shami in the post-match presentation stated: “I dedicated my 5-wicket haul to our bowling coach Paras Mhambrey because he supported me during a low phase and enhanced my skills. I celebrated in that manner because he had no hair on his head. This celebration has nothing to do with Harbhajan Bhajji. I could never dedicate my 5-wicket haul to someone who helped collect donations for Pak player Shahid Afridi.”

This Facebook post can be seen here.

It is being widely shared on Facebook and X with a similar claim.


NewsMobile fact-checked the viral post, and found it to be false.

Running a keyword search, we could not find any credible media report mentioning an alleged statement made by Shami on Harbhajan. Moreover, a report by Times Now, dated November 02, 2023, says Shami expressed gratitude towards the people of India. During the post-match presentation ceremony, he said: “Not just rocket science… it was about finding rhythm, hitting right areas, keeping an uncluttered mind, and feeding off the love of the people.” Nowhere in the report, Shami has criticised Harbhajan Singh.

Another article by The Times of India, dated November 2, 2023, explains the reason behind Shami’s gesture. Quoting Shubhman Gill, it was mentioned that the gesture was intended for bowling coach Paras Mhambrey as he doesn’t have any hair on his head.

Thus, it is clear that the viral quote is fabricated as Shami has not said anything about Harbhajan Singh after the match.

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