File Photo: Virat Kohli (IANS)

Saga of Virat Kohli Abusing Wrong Journalist over Anushka Story Reaches ICC Doorsteps

First it was a wrong person whom cricket star Virat Kohli had abused for a story that was written more than 6 months ago and secondly, he brought into row his friend actress Anushka Sharma, who would certainly abhor such controversies and above all, it was World Cup event where the nation’s pride is involved.

Throughout the saga, the man who wrote the story was Indian Express sports editor Sandeep Dwivedi and ironic that Hindustan Times sports writer Jasvinder Sidhu looked similar and Kohli was caught off-the-guard abusing the wrong person.

The story that appeared with the title ‘In India’s jumbo touring party, the ‘G’ in WAGS too’ on July 19, 2014 where the fact that the BCCI had given permission to Virat Kohli to have his friend, Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma, accompany him throughout the tour in England.

It was written all over the media and Kohli cannot expect the media to be silent just because he was a star cricketer. Facts are facts and no journalist worth the salt can keep them under wraps. If not Dwivedi, another would have picked the story, hence the future captain of Indian cricket team should learn to tolerate media outbursts and praise alike. There is no need to turn abusive.

Secondly, after the incident, apparently Virat Kohli realised his mistake of abusing the wrong journalist and apologised but the row fails to stop as the people involved are celebrities and journalists. The Hindustan Times, which was dragged into the row unnecessarily, has complained to the BCCI and ICC. In fact, Virat Kohli should have apologised to the entire community of journalists for his abusive behaviour.

The newly-elected BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said the issue should be put to rest in view of the cricket team’s morale at the World Cup and acknowledged that the management is trying to cap the issue of “mistaken identity”. In a statement, the management said,”there was a misunderstanding and no abusive language was used. Virat has spoken to the concerned gentleman immediately and matter ends.”

But BCCI should have gone to clarify further that whether mistaken identity or not, Kohli apologised for his rude behaviour. Instead, BCCI is strressing that Virat Kohli had abused a journalist of mistaken identity. Does it mean if it was a right identity, it would have supported Virat Kohli?

Does it mean that he would have been right to abuse the Indian Express journalist who had written the story that was a truth and a verified fact? It was picked up by more than 100 news entities all over the country because both of them are celebrities and the story had the truth element in it.

Anurag Thakur tried to end the matter saying, “He (Kohli) has clarified on the issue. For India, the ongoing World Cup is very important. We need to put all these issues to rest and (Virat) has indirectly communicated that he misunderstood the situation. Let’s put this matter to an end… In future I think these kinds of incidents should be avoided. I have not spoken to the players yet, the team management is there, taking care of all the players’ needs.”

Ironic but Virat Kohli should know that he is the future captain of the Indian cricket team and a leader should possess the basic virtue of tolerance to criticism.

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