World Cup 2019: Anushka Sharma lauds husband Virat Kohli over his act of gentlemanship
Kohli in the post-match press conference said that it was not fair to boo those players when they have already accepted their mistake.
Published - Jun 10, 2019 3:32 pm | Updated - Jan 28, 2020 6:54 pm
India captain Virat Kohli became a cynosure of all eyes during his team’s high-voltage clash with defending world champions Australia in a league match of ICC World Cup 2019. The ace batsman stood up for Steve Smith, an Aussie cricketer who was tainted in the Sandpapergate scandal in South Africa last year after he was booed by a section of the Indian crowd at the venue. Kohli gestured at them expressing his displeasure and then apologised on their behalf to Smith who was seen appreciating him.
Kohli’s statesman-like act was applauded in various quarters and even his actor wife Anushka Sharma did not miss out. She took to Instagram and shared a story with the caption: “Aggressive player, benevolent man — so easy to love”. The fans were reportedly shouting out “cheater” at Smith, who was the captain of the Australian side in that notorious series and was banned for a year along with his the then deputy David Warner. Both the players returned to play for the national side again in the World Cup after missing out a year of international cricket. They though played in franchise cricket across the world in these times.
Smith and Warner are being mercilessly booed ever since they have set their foot on the English soil. Even in the warm-up game that Australia played against England ahead of the tournament’s beginning, Smith was taunted despite scoring a century. The booing is expected to increase when Australia take on England in the Ashes that follows the World Cup in August-September.
Kohli felt it was unfair to target Smith
Kohli later said in a press conference it was not fair to boo those players when they have already accepted their mistake. He said he didn’t want the Indian fans to set up a bad example by taunting the Australian cricketer and hence asked them to refrain from it.
“He’s just playing cricket, he’s just standing there. I felt bad because if I was in a position where something had happened with me and I apologised, I accepted it and I came back and still I got 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 is not acceptable,” the Indian captain, who scored a scintillating 82 in the match against Australia, said.