Virat Kohli has spoken about his late father Prem Kohli. The Indian captain said he was honest and showed him the way. He also recalled an incident where his father refused to pay bribe to get him selected in the Delhi state team
Bengaluru: India captain Virat Kohli has revealed how his late father Prem Kohli was honest and once rejected to pay bribe to get his son selected in the Delhi state team.
On Sunday evening (May 17), Kohli was in conversation with Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri on Instagram. During this live chat session, the 31-year-old Kohli remembered his father and said he showed him the right way.
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Recollecting an incident when someone from Delhi had demanded “little extra” (money) from his father to pick his son for the state cricket team.
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“In my home state (Delhi), sometimes things happen which are not fair. On one occasion, a certain someone did not play by the rules when it came to selection criteria. He told my father that while I had the merit to be selected, a little extra (money) was needed to confirm my selection,” Kohli told Chhetri.
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“My father, an honest middle-class man who had worked hard all his life to become a successful lawyer, did not even understand what ‘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’,” he added.
Kohli said he cried a lot after he was not selected for the state team. “I didn’t get selected. I cried a lot; I was broken. But that incident taught me a lot. I realised that I had to be extraordinary to become successful, and that I had to achieve this purely through my own effort and hard work. My father showed me the right way, through action and not merely words.”
Kohli’s father passed away due to cardiac arrest when the batsman was 18 years old. Despite this tragedy, Kohli returned to the ground next day to bat against Karnataka in a Ranji Trophy game in Delhi in 2006. He scored 90.
“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. I think about how nice it would be if I could have given my father the peaceful retired life that he deserved. At times, I get emotional thinking about him,” Kohli said.
Kohli made his international debut in 2008, the same year he led India Under-19 to ICC U-19 World Cup glory. Since then, he has emerged as one of the best across formats. He has so far hit 70 international centuries and broken many records.
Last Updated 18, May 2020, 11:07 AM