Virat Kohli explains why he asked Indian fans: The Indian captain disclosed why he asked the Indian fans to stop booing Steve Smith.
Other than India registering their second victory of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, what the 14th match of the tournament will be remembered is India captain Virat Kohli advocating for Australia batsman Steve Smith.
It all happened during the first innings when Kohli was batting in the middle and Smith was fielding at the boundary. A section of Indian crowd had started booing Smith and calling him a ‘cheat’. The same didn’t go down well with Kohli, who ended up asking the Indian contingent to stop booing and start cheering the Australian cricketer.
Virat Kohli’s asking the Indians in the Oval to applaud Steve Smith is such a great gesture. I have seen many amazing cricketers over the years. Rarely seen someone change his game and his attitude so much over a decade. He is an absolute inspiration!
— Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) June 9, 2019
Virat Kohli explains why he asked Indian fans to stop booing Steve Smith
On being asked about his gesture during the post-match press conference, Kohli explained in details with respect to why he did what he did. “I think what’s happened [Smith’s involvement in Cape Town Ball Tampering Scandal] has happened [long back]. The guy [Smith] has come back, he’s trying to play well for his side. Even in the IPL I saw him, it’s not good to see someone down like this,” Kohli was quoted as saying.
While Kohli didn’t stop at this, he opened up on how despite having issues with Smith in the past, he didn’t want him to face the heat on the ground. Kohli also disclosed that he apologized to Smith on behalf of the Indian crowd.
“If I was in a position where something had happened with me, and I’d apologised and accepted it, and came back and still I would get booed, I wouldn’t like it either.”#ViratKohli on why he asked the fans to stop booing Steve Smith. #CWC19 | #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/CIMicjoSA0
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 9, 2019
“We’ve [me and Smith] had issues in the past, we’ve had arguments. But you don’t want a guy feeling that heat every time he goes out to play. He’s come back. He’s worked hard. Because there were so many Indian fans out there, I didn’t want them to set a bad example. In my opinion, he didn’t do anything to be booed.
“He was standing there and I felt bad because if I was in a position where something had happened with me where I apologized and came back and still get booed, I wouldn’t like it either. I felt for him and apologized to him on behalf of the crowd. In my opinion, that’s not acceptable,” Kohli said.