Upset over a report about him and girlfriend Anushka Sharma, Virat Kohli hurls unprintable abuse at 'wrong' journalist after training session; then sends apology through another journalist
Perth: India vice-captain Virat Kohli was not a happy man on Tuesday. And it had nothing to do with South African batsman Hashim Amla nudging him down to second spot in the race to reaching 20 ODI centuries.
Amla scored a 128-ball 159 against Ireland at the Manuka Oval in Canberra yesterday to reach his 20th ODI in just 108 innings while Kohli achieved the feat in 133 innings.
Some 4000 kms away, here at the Murdoch University Oval however, Kohli was upset for an altogether different reason that had nothing to do with cricket.
Virat Kohli's outburst is believed to be over an article that had appeared about him and his girlfriend Anushka Sharma in a national daily. Pic/AFP
The Indian team were in the final moments of their afternoon practice session and Kohli was returning to the dressing room.
Just then, he spotted a particular print journalist of a national daily and began hurling the choicest of abuses at him in Hindi and Punjabi. The livid batsman even threatened him with dire consequences.
Kohli was undeterred by the presence of some Indian TV media crew nearby, who witnessed the incident. However, it turned out to be a case of mistaken identity because Kohli had mistaken this particular journalist for another reporter of a different national daily. Kohli realised his folly and then sent across an apology through another journalist.
The reason for Kohli’s aggression is that the reporter had apparently written about his girlfriend and actor Anushka Sharma being the only girlfriend among the wives of the Indian players accompanying the team on the England tour last year.
The Indian team’s then manager Sunil Dev said that it was against Indian culture for girlfriends to be allowed on tour.
Chat with Shastri
According to team sources, India Team Director Ravi Shastri and bowling coach Bharat Arun had a chat with Kohli after the ugly incident. Shastri is believed to have reminded Kohli that he is this ODI team’s future captain and such kind of behaviour in public is unacceptable.
The Indian team management refused to comment on the issue. Though Kohli sent across an apology, the Indian media were not pleased with one of the members of their clan being publicly abused.
Media manager Dr RN Baba was flooded with phone calls from the media, some seeking an apology, others asking for an explanation.