NEW DELHI: India captain Virat Kohli has told how his late father refused to pay a bribe to get him into a Delhi state junior team when he was a teenager. Though, he did not identify who had demanded the bribe but said he was rejected by the team, a rebuff that left him “broken”.
“In my home state … sometimes things happen that are not fair,” the Times of India newspaper and other media quoted Kohli as saying during an online forum with India’s football captain Sunil Chhetri.
“On one occasion, a certain person did not play by the rules for selection criteria,” the skipper added. “He told my father while I had the merit, a little extra (bribe) was needed to confirm my selection.”
But Kohli said his father had insisted the selection had to be on merit alone. “My father simply said, ‘If you want to select Virat then let it be purely on merit. I will give you nothing extra.'”
Kohli said he was in tears after being told he had not made the team. “I cried a lot. I was broken,” he declared.”That incident taught me a lot. I realised that this is how the world is run,” he was quoted as saying.”If you want to progress, do something that no one else is doing. If I had to become successful, I needed to be extraordinary.
“And I had to achieve this purely through my own effort and hard work. My father showed me the right way through his actions and not merely words. Those little things had a great impact on me,” Kohli was quoted as saying.
Kohli’s father, a lawyer, died when he was 18 and playing in a Ranji Trophy state match for Delhi. He returned to bat the day after his father’s death.”I accepted his death as I was focused on moving forward with my career,” Kohli said.
“His death made me realise I had to make something of my life. Now I think about how nice it would be if I could have given my father the peaceful retired life he deserved. At times I get emotional thinking about him,” he added.
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli has revealed that former Australian spinner Shane Warne made him look like a fool during the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2009. Kohli was doing an Instagram live session with India football skipper Sunil Chhetri and during the chat the latter played a rapid fire round with Kohli.
Chhetri asked Kohli: “You need three runs of the last ball, you can choose the bowler, I am giving you two options– Shane Warne or Waqar Younis”. Kohli replied: “Firstly Shane Warne hardly bowled during the death overs and secondly I would believe in my ability to score off the yorkers bowled by Waqar Younis.
“Shane Warne made me look like a fool during IPL in 2009. I played him again in 2011 in Rajasthan, nothing significant happened there. He did not get me out, I did not score many runs against him. After the match he came up to me and said never say anything back to the bowler, but obviously I did not listen (laughs),” he added.
In the rapid fire round, Kohli named former South Africa cricketer Jonty Rhodes as the best fielder at backward point.
Chhetri also asked Kohli about one innings he would have liked to play from the past.
To this question, Kohli replied: “Desert Storm, Tendulkar’s semi-final innings of 140+ against Australia in Sharjah in 1998”. The comparisons between Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar keep growing and many have picked the current Indian skipper to break the records set by Tendulkar.
Tendulkar called time on his career after registering 100 international centuries, while Kohli has 70 centuries across all formats. Currently, Kohli is ranked at the top spot in the ICC ODI rankings while he is in the second place in Tests rankings. (ANI)