Following the conclusion of the Cricket World Cup final in Ahmedabad, where Rohit Sharma’s Indian cricket team faced a defeat against Australia, a contentious image of Mitchell Marsh circulated widely. The photograph captured the Australian cricket star placing his feet on the esteemed World Cup trophy, prompting criticism on social media for what was perceived as a lack of respect for both the trophy and the spirit of the game.

Expressing his disappointment, Mohammed Shami, India’s leading wicket-taker in the ICC World Cup 2023, addressed the incident in a statement to reporters on Thursday.

“I feel upset. Placing a foot on the trophy, the one every team competes for, the trophy you dream of raising, that didn’t make me happy,” Shami stated.

In an open conversation, Shami discussed his approach to pitch assessment, highlighting his preference for avoiding a pre-match inspection.

“Usually, bowlers inspect the pitch upon reaching the ground. I avoid getting close to the wicket because you truly understand its behavior only when you start bowling. Why add unnecessary pressure? It’s better to stay simple, stay relaxed, and that’s when you’ll perform better,” he shared in a discussion with PUMA India.

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Reflecting on his initial absence from India’s playing XI, Shami talked about the mental strength required when sitting out for four matches.

“When you’re benched for four matches, you must stay mentally strong. There might be moments of pressure, but witnessing the team excel and moving in a positive direction brings satisfaction,” he added.

Shami concluded the World Cup 2023 campaign as the top wicket-taker, securing 24 wickets in just 7 matches, including three 5-wicket hauls and a 4-for in the tournament.