We often talk about the spirit of the game and cricket no longer being a ‘gentleman’s game.’ However, things like what Virat Kohli did on June 9 make us believe that the future isn’t as bleak as we thought to be. During the match against Australia at the Oval in London, former Australia captain Steve Smith was asked to field in the deep – near the stands – and was facing severe booing from a group of Indian fans. Unable to bear it, Kohli intervened and gestured to the crowd to stop it. Instead, he pointed to Smith and asked people to cheer for him.
While Smith was standing close to the crowd, chants of ‘cheater, cheater’ were going on. India was close to the end of their innings when Hardik Pandya was dismissed. Kohli was at the crease and realised that the crowd was not about to stop. He turned to the crowd, pointed at Smith and gestured to ‘clap’ for him instead. Kohli also stopped the crowd from going rowdy when Smith came out to bat. The Aussie scored a good knock of 69 but couldn’t see his team through.
It's been over a year, people, give the man a break
"There are so many Indian fans here, I just didn't want them to set a bad example, to be honest. He didn't do anything to be booed, in my opinion. He's just playing cricket. I mean he's just standing there and I felt bad because if I was in a position where something had happened with me and I'd apologised and accepted it and I came back and still I get booed, I wouldn't like it either,” said Kohi in the post-match conference.
Kohli's gesture not only won the internet but also his wife Anushka Sharma, who shared an IG story, complimenting him.
Smith, along with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were involved in altering the condition of the ball with sandpaper during a match against South Africa over a year ago. The trio had been banned for a year and have often faced harassment from crowds.Read More