England Bowler Mahmood Reveals he Was Called "Terrorist" on Social Media
Lancashire fast bowler Saqib Mahmood has revealed that he was called a “terrorist” after he could not make it to the England Lions’ tour of India, due to a visa issue.
Mahmood has been named in England Test and T20I squad for their upcoming series against New Zealand in November.
Mahmood’s visa was rejected due to his Pakistani heritage, for which he received flak on social media.
"All of a sudden I was being called a terrorist and I had not done anything wrong," Mahmood told the BBC's Stumped.
"People thought I was plotting something when I was going on a cricket tour. I was getting called not a lot of nice things, hence why I tried to forget about it all."
As far as getting the call up is concerned, Mahmood said, "I knew the squad was being announced at two so all morning I was literally just staring at my phone waiting for it to ring.
"I ended up getting the call at twenty to two just as I thought the call was not coming. It was a great feeling - it was almost a too-good-to-be-true feeling."
He further added that he had a “weird feeling” upon receiving the call from England selector Ed Smith.
"He told me I was in both squads and it was such a weird feeling," added Mahmood.
"At the end he asked me if I had any questions and I did not want to tell him that I had not heard a thing he said."