Indian captain Virat Kohli has always proved himself to be a world class player, be it stats or be it his spirit as a sportsman on the field. The skipper lead India into defeating Australia by a margin of 36 runs on 9th of June 2019 in their second match of the ICC world cup 2019. Kohli won our hearts not just by scoring 82(77) runs but taking a stand for a fellow player. We all know how Steve Smith and David Warner along with Cameron Bancroft fell from grace in march 2018 when they tried to tamper the ball with sand paper during a test match against South Africa.
Smith and Warner were each banned for an year and made there come backs this year after 29th of March while Bancroft was banned for a period of 9 months. The incident is popularly known as sandpapergate.
It was expected that these players might receive a backlash after returning back to international grounds and as expected Smith went through considerable amount of booing in India versus Australia on 9th of June. But the Indian skipper Virat Kohli came to his rescue and urged the crowd not to boo and insult him and show him some respect. In the press conference post match Kohli said,
“Just because there’s so many Indian fans here, I just didn’t want them to set a bad example because he didn’t do anything to be booed in my opinion. He’s just playing cricket,” Kohli told reporters after the match.
“He was just standing there, and I felt bad because if I was in a position where something had happened with me and I had apologised, I accepted it and I came back and still I would get booed, I wouldn’t like it, either.
“I just felt for him, and I told him, ‘I’m sorry on behalf of the crowd,’ because I’ve seen that happen in a few earlier games as well and in my opinion that’s not acceptable.“
“What’s happened has happened like long back, the guy is back, he’s trying to play well for his side,” said Kohli.
“Even in the IPL I saw him, it’s not good to see someone down like that, to be honest.
“We’ve had issues in the past. We’ve had a few arguments on the field. But you don’t want to see a guy feeling that heat every time he goes out to play.
“What’s happened has happened. Everyone has known that. He’s come back. He’s worked hard. He’s playing well for his side now.”
In the spirit of the game but more than that in the spirit of humanity Kohli showed that he indeed is a man who knows how to raise beyond his personal prejudices and stand for what is right.