‘Great words, great player,’ Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir reacts after Virat Kohli gets ICC ‘Spirit of Cricket’ award
Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir reacted after India skipper Virat Kohli urged the youngsters not to get judgemental too early in their career. Kohli spoke after getting the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ award for 2019 by ICC on Wednesday. “Great words from a great player,” tweeted Amir. Kohli received the award for asking the crowd to support Australia’s captain Steve Smith instead of booing him during India’s World Cup against Australia last year.
Explaining his reasons for backing Smith the way he did, the 31-year-old dasher said, “That moment was purely understanding an individual’s situation. I don’t think a guy who is coming out of a situation like that needs to be taken advantage of.” The passionate Kohli, who was once fined 50 percent of his match fees after he was seen showing the middle finger to the crowd as a reaction to some hostility from fans, is strictly against booing.
ALSO READ: ICC Awards: Rohit joins Kohli & Dhoni in elite list of Indian cricketers
“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.” Nearly three years ago, Kohli stirred up a major controversy by virtually accusing the then Australian captain Smith of cheating in the usage of DRS. Smith had looked towards the dressing room for instructions at that time and had apologised for the “brain fade”.
The incident had escalated tensions between the two sides during a heated Test series in India. Smith had a torrid time in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal, including a public breakdown. “...I could feel what the individual must be going through after coming back from a time like that. To take advantage of someone’s emotions wasn’t correct so I stood up for that. It wasn’t to gain something. It was also a representation of who we are as a nation,” Kohli explained.
ALSO READ: Full list of ICC award 2019 winners
“I was happy ICC recognised it but also for people to remember our thinking should be right in whatever we do. I used to look forward to these things when I was younger, some sort of global recognition, now I have started to realise it’s just an appreciation of work that you do.
“It’s not something I chase but (it is) a matter of respect, not gaining attention. But when the cricket fraternity looks at you with respect it means more to me then numbers, performance or things that are materialistic in the sporting world,” he said while in Mumbai.
Watch: Virat Kohli’s reaction to winning ICC Spirit of Cricket
(With PTI inputs)