Indian skipper Virat Kohli has stated that he is in fact surprised at winning the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award after “years of being under the scanner for the wrong things”.
Notably, Virat Kohli was given the award for his gesture at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 as he indicated to the crowd to applaud and not boo Steve Smith after he returned to International Cricket from a one-year suspension for ball-tampering.
This has been a massive turnaround for Kohli who is said to be one of the greatest batsmen in modern-day cricket along with Steve Smith.
“I’m surprised that I have got it, after many years of being under the scanner for the wrong things,” Kohli said in a statement issued by the ICC as quoted by PTI.
“That moment was purely understanding an individua’s situation. I don’t think a guy who is coming out of a situation like that needs to be taken advantage of,” he explained his reasons for showing his support to Steve Smith.
This is the same Kohli who was once fined 50 percent of his match fees after he showed the middle finger to the crowd in response to some comments and behavior by the fans. He stands firmly against booing.
“That should not be a representation of our fans and what we stand as a cricketing nation, a sporting nation.
“We need to all take responsibility towards that. Intimidate the opposition, definitely try and have an upper hand but in a matter that is not targeting someone emotionally.
“That is not acceptable at any level and people should be wary of that,” he added.
Not too long ago, Kohli had found himself in the middle of a controversy as he had accused Steve Smith of cheating in the usage of DRS. Notably, Smith had looked towards the dressing room and it seemed like he was waiting for instructions from his camp. However, Smith had later apologised for the ‘brain fade”.
The “brain fade” incident had escalated tensions between the two teams in the middle of an intense Test series in India.