Like all Indian citizens, Virat Kohli too has been affected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive but the India Test captain hailed it as the greatest move in the history of Indian politics.
“I was actually going to pay my hotel bills in Rajkot and I was taking out the old money and I forgot that it isn’t of any use anymore. I could have actually signed on it and given it to people, they are that useless now,” said Kohli during a press conference here on Wednesday.
“For me, it is the greatest move I have seen in the history of Indian politics by far, hands down. I have been so impressed by it, it’s unbelievable what’s happening,” said Kohli. India play England in the second Test from Thursday.
England players caught by cash crunch
Almost every tour of is commemorated by pictures of cricketers playing tourists and exploring the streets of incredible India. England’s 2016 tour of India might not be one of them.
Such has been the ripple effect of the demonetisation drive that the English team has been forced to remain huddled in their hotels and not venture outside.
They might not have enough cash on their hands.
Touring teams generally rely on cash to buy necessities on the road. Like in the last month’s tour by New Zealand when most of the players were seen buying coffee or wafers using INR 1000 notes. But with ATMs running low on cash or drying out as soon as they are replenished, the touring England party has been guarded.
“Like in Rajkot, most of the players didn’t venture out of hotels to eat or something probably because they might have to pay in cash,” a support staff member of the England team told HT.
Asked how the players are doing without cash allowances, he said: “They have been given cards. Most of them usually transact electronically so as of now it’s not a problem. But it’s a bit of a (tricky) situation,” he said.
In the news for wrong reasons
This tour was already in the news for the wrong reasons after reports emerged that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had not signed the MoU with the BCCI due to the Indian board’s legal wrangle with the Supreme Court appointed Lodha Committee.
Then came news that the ECB had been requested to foot their bills in India before the Supreme Court intervened and directed the BCCI to disburse funds to organise the Rajkot Test.
No one however was prepared for the surprising demonetisation announcement that came around 12 hours before the first Test began.
A camera crew member of the England team said he was lucky to have enough change on his hands. “I’m left with just one 500 rupee note now. But I’m okay with that,” he said.