Indian pacer Mohammed Shami has railed against trolls as neither real fans nor real Indians in his first comments since being subjected to harsh online abuse after the defeat to Pakistan at the T20 World Cup.
The 31-year-old became the target of online abuse after India were beaten by their arch-foes last October on their way to an early exit from the tournament.
Cricket matches between the two heavyweights India and Pakistan often aggravates tensions between the neighbours.
Following India's defeat, thousands of hate messages flooded social media, including Shami's Instagram handle, calling him a traitor and alleging he had taken kickback to throw away the match.
During an interview with the Indian Express on Monday, Mohammed Shami said those who trolled him were neither "real fans nor were they real Indians".
"When people with unknown social media profiles or even one with a few followers point fingers at someone, they don't have anything to lose," Shami said.
"For them nothing is at stake because they are nobodies... we don't need to engage with them."
Furthermore, the paceman said that he did not need to prove his loyalty to India to anyone.
"We know what we are, we don't need to say what India means to us because we represent the country and fight for the country.
"So we don't need to prove anything to anyone by saying or reacting to such trolls."
Since playing the first game for the men in blue back in 2013, the Indian pacer has scalped 209 wickets in 57 Test matches with a strike rate of almost 50.
Currently, Mohammed Shami is sidelined due to a wrist injury, but added that the present Indian pace attack was the best ever.
"With the kind of Test match bowling we have now, I don't think we ever had such a period in our cricketing history," Shami said.