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Virat Kohli Reveals How He Went 'Blank' After His Father's Death

More than a decade ago, in December of 2006, the current Indian captain Virat Kohli promised his family that he would play for the country after his father’s untimely passing because it was his dream to see his son play cricket at the highest level.

Cricketnext Staff |September 7, 2019, 5:01 PM IST
Virat Kohli Reveals How He Went 'Blank' After His Father's Death

More than a decade ago, in December of 2006, the current Indian captain Virat Kohli promised his family that he would play for the country after his father’s untimely passing because it was his dream to see his son play cricket at the highest level.

Kohli, for whom missing a cricket match for whatever reason is a complete no-no, immediately made cricket his top most priority and believes that his father’s passing was the ‘most impactful’ moment in his life as it taught him to fight the difficult and sad times.

At the time of the unfortunate incident Kohli was playing for Delhi against Karnataka and went on to score 90.

“I was playing a four day game at the time and was supposed to resume batting the next day when this (father passed) happened at 230 odd in the morning. We all woke up but had no idea what to do. I literally saw him breathe his last,” told Graham Bensinger in a freewheeling interview.

“We drove him to the hospital where unfortunately they could not help revive him. My family broke down but I could not cry and there was no emotion. I could not register what had happened and I was blank.

“I called my coach in the morning and told him what had happened and that I wanted to play because leaving a cricket match was not acceptable to me no matter what.

“While my teammates were consoling me in the dressing room I got overwhelmed by the emotion and broke down.

“Now I feel like it was the most impactful thing to have happened in my life. I came back from the game for the last rites, and promised my brother that I will play for India. My father was keen that I play for India and that was when everything in life became second priority. Cricket became first priority.

“Falling down and fighting back is part of sport and life, but the ability to comeback made me realise that one incident had made me so strong.

“The ability to comeback became so much more stronger and right now I feel grateful that I could get the kind of strength from such a difficult point in life.”

Kohli, after his father’s death due to a cardiac arrest, made his ODI debut in 2008 before winning the ICC World Cup in 2011 and then making his Test debut in West Indies later that year and has scored 68 centuries in international cricket.

As captain Kohli recently led the Indian team to a successful tour of the West Indies and in the process also became the India’s most successful Test captain in Kingston, Jamaica – the place where he made his Test debut. ​

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