Mumbai: Virat Kohli was on Wednesday embroiled in a controversy when a fan termed him an ‘over-rated batsman’ comparing him to England and Australia cricketers. To this, Kohli, who turned 30 earlier this week, replied through a video asking him to ‘leave India’.
While many of his fans and other Twitter users have trolled him for this, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was upset with the Delhi cricketer’s response.
We, at the BCCI value our cricket fans and respect them and their choices. I loved to watch Sunil Gavaskar bat, but also loved watching (Gordon) Greenidge, (Desmond) Haynes and Viv Richards. I loved watching Sachin, Viru (Virender Sehwag), Sourav (Ganguly), VVS (Laxman), Rahul (Dravid) bat but also loved Mark Waugh, Brian Lara and so many others,’ BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary was quoted saying by the Times of India.
‘Shane Warne for me has been the most exciting spinner to watch, but one felt the most thrill when Anil (Kumble) was bowling. Kapil Dev on song was a delight to watch as were (Richard) Hadlee, (Ian) Botham and Imran (Khan),’ he added.
‘I think this has to do with respecting cricketing excellence without any thoughts about geographical or political boundaries,’ he continued.
Kohli has been rested for India’s ongoing T20I series against West Indies, which they have already sealed 2-0 with one game to play. Rohit Sharma is leading the side in Kohli’s absence.
‘Virat needs to understand that if the fans go away to other countries, then no Puma etc. will want to sign him for Rs100 crores. The BCCI’s revenue will fall, and consequently the players’ fees. If he checks his contract, he may find that he may have violated his contract with this statement. Just like he violated BCCI’s contract with Nike when travelling to England to support Puma,’ a BCCI official said.
Kohli will return to action ahead of India’s long tour to Australia. The first of the three T20Is Down Under will be played on November 21. DC