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Wasn't Selected in a Junior Team as Father Refused to Bribe an Official: Virat Kohli

India skipper Virat Kohli is arguably the best batsman in the world, in all three formats. But his journey to the top hasn't been a smooth one. In a web chat with India football captain Sunil Chhetri, Kohli made a startling revelation.

Cricketnext Staff |May 19, 2020, 9:30 AM IST
Wasn't Selected in a Junior Team as Father Refused to Bribe an Official: Virat Kohli

India skipper Virat Kohli is arguably the best batsman in the world, in all three formats. But his journey to the top hasn't been a smooth one. In a web chat with India football captain Sunil Chhetri, Kohli made a startling revelation.

He said that once he failed it to make it to Delhi junior team, since his father had refused to pay a bribe.

"In my home state (Delhi)... sometimes things happen that are not fair... On one occasion, a certain someone did not play by the rules when it came to selection criteria," Kohli said. "He told my father while I had the merit, a little extra (bribe) was needed to confirm my selection."

"My father - an honest middle-class man who had worked hard all his life to become a successful lawyer - did not even understand what that 'little extra' meant. My father simply said, 'If you want to select Virat, then let it be purely on merit. I will give you nothing extra'," Kohli said.

"I didn't get selected. I cried a lot. I was broken," Kohli added.

Kohli went on to say that this incident had a great impact on him. "That incident taught me a lot. I realised that this world runs like this. If you want to progress, do something that no one else is doing. If I had to become successful, I had to be extraordinary.

"And I had to achieve this purely through my own effort and hard work. My father showed me the right way, through his actions and not merely words. Those little things had a great impact on me."

In fact Kohli lost his father at the age of 18, when the latter was playing a Ranji Trophy match for Delhi against Karnataka. Despite this, he went on to play a match-saving innings for his team.

"I accepted his death, as I was focused on moving forward with my career.In fact, I went and batted in a Ranji Trophy match the day after he died. His death made me realise that I had to make something of my life.

Now, I think about how nice it would be if I could have given my father the peaceful retired life that he deserved."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5211 116
2 New Zealand 3959 110
3 Australia 4320 108
4 England 5253 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5602 112
5 Australia 5915 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 7815 269
3 England 6407 267
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 6220 259
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