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Home / Cricket / Virat Kohli ‘surprised’ for getting ‘Spirit of Cricket Award’ after ‘being under scanner for wrong things’

Virat Kohli ‘surprised’ for getting ‘Spirit of Cricket Award’ after ‘being under scanner for wrong things’

ICC Cricket Awards: India captain Virat Kohli could not believe he was given the ‘Spirit of Cricket Award’ in ICC awards 2019 years after being in the news for all the wrong things.

cricket Updated: Jan 15, 2020 13:49 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Dubai
India's captain Virat Kohli gestures during the first one-day international cricket match between India and Australia in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
India's captain Virat Kohli gestures during the first one-day international cricket match between India and Australia in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)(AP)
         

India captain Virat Kohli says he is surprised at winning the ICC’s Spirit of Cricket Award after “years of being under the scanner for the wrong things”, referring to his past flare-ups.

He won the award for his gesture at the 2019 World Cup, when he egged the crowd on to support and not boo Steve Smith soon after his return to international cricket from a one-year suspension for ball-tampering.

From once stopping short of calling his Australian rival a cheat to urging the crowd to back him, it has been an incredible turnaround for Kohli, one of the world’s best batsmen alongside Smith.

Also Read | Indians dominate: Full list of ICC award 2019 winners

“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.

Explaining his reasons for backing Smith the way he did, Kohli added, “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: Kohli captain, 5 Australians in ICC Test of the year 2019

“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.