Happy Birthday Virat Kohli: Top Acts of Sportsmanship From One of the Feisty Competitors - Sportsmanship is an important virtue that every player should always possess and showcase. Irrespective of the sport one plays, good sportsmanship always stands out and acknowledged by supporters and teams alike. The qualities of being in good form, equality, the will to win, and fairness is what it takes to be successful on the playing field and off it.
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli generally gives a picture of being aggressive on the field. On more than a few occasions of on-field antics, he earned the title of being rude, aggressive or immature. There’s another side to the flamboyant batsman which is hardly noticed.
As Kohli turns 32 on November 5, here’s a look at a couple of incidents which showcased some great gestures of sportsmanship that may have gone unnoticed.
Kohli’s gesture towards Smith in the 2019 World Cup:
The 2019 World Cup group stage clash between India and Australia saw the return of Steve Smith and David Warner to international cricket following a ban in the ‘sandpapergate scandal’. Indian fans joined English fans and started to boo Steve Smith. However, Kohli was quick to notice the unhealthy practice and asked the fans to cheer for India instead of booing Smith. Steve Smith later acknowledged Kohli’s gesture and appreciated the way the Indian skipper handled the situation.
Kohli calls on the team physio to check on the opposition player
This incident occurred during the historic day-night test match between India and Bangladesh, which was played at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata in 2019. Bangladesh player Nadeem Hasan got hit by a bouncer from Mohammad Shami. As the rival team didn’t have physio available at that moment, Kohli stepped in to help by calling in the Indian team physio to check on Hasan. The impact of the bouncer was so immense that it had to be checked and treated immediately. Kohli’s sportsmanship and quick thinking got Hasan treated in time.
Virat’s gesture towards injured Haseeb Hameed
Teenaged England opener Haseeb Hameed, who at that time was the youngest Test debutant for England, is also one of the recipients of Kohli’s sportsmanship. Hameed got injured during England’s tour of India in 2016. The right-handed youngster played with aplomb scoring 209 runs from his maiden Test series. However, in the third Test at Mohali, Hameed broke his left hand due to a delivery by Umesh Yadav in the first innings. Unable to bat, he left the field at a score of 9, but the young lad returned to bat in the second innings and scored 59 runs managing his pain.
Virat Kohli was so impressed by Hameed’s dedication that he lavished praise at the England batsman. “He showed great character for a 19-year-old at this level. He put his hand up when his team wanted him to do it,” Kohli said.
Kohli’s gesture for Mohammad Amir in Asia Cup 2016
Asian rivals India and Pakistan are always at loggerheads on field or otherwise. However, during the 2016 Asia Cup, Pakistani pacer Mohammad Amir returned to international cricket after completing a five-year ban. Amir had faced a lot of criticism due to his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal. Kohli was happy about Amir’s return and congratulated him on making a comeback. Kohli appreciated Amir’s return and even gifted the pacer his bat before the India-Pakistan clash.
Kohli’s warm gesture towards Amir had taken everyone by surprise and even pleased many fans who appreciated him.