Virat Kohli’s Sportsmanship Shines Through: Steve Smith Expresses Gratitude
In the world of cricket, moments of sportsmanship often transcend the boundaries of rivalry, and such was the case during the 2019 World Cup. Australian cricket sensation Steve Smith found himself in a rather uncomfortable situation when he was subjected to boos and jeers from the crowd. However, it was Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli who stepped in as a symbol of fair play and goodwill.
The Unforgettable Incident
The incident took place during a game between India and Australia at The Oval in London. Smith had just returned to the Australian side after serving a one-year suspension due to his involvement in the infamous 2018 Australian ball-tampering scandal, which had tarnished his reputation.
As Smith fielded near the boundary ropes, a section of Indian supporters began to boo him. It was a moment of vulnerability for the Australian star, but it was also a moment that showcased the true essence of sportsmanship in cricket.
Kohli’s Instinctive Gesture
Virat Kohli, who was batting at the time, didn’t turn a blind eye to the crowd’s reaction. Instead, he took the initiative to intervene. He pointed towards the particular section of the crowd and gestured for them to stop booing Smith. Instead, he encouraged them to applaud the Australian batsman.
Kohli later shared that his gesture was instinctive. He believed that it was unfair to personally target an individual for the mistakes they had made in the past, emphasizing the importance of moving forward in the spirit of sportsmanship.
Steve Smith, in an interview with OneCricket and Star Sports, expressed his gratitude for Kohli’s sportsmanship. He referred to the moment as “a very nice moment from Kohli in the 2019 World Cup” and appreciated the Indian captain’s actions. Smith stated, “The crowd was booing me, and he told the crowd to just support him. What is wrong with him? That was great from Virat, really appreciate it.”
Smith didn’t stop at expressing his gratitude; he also praised Virat Kohli’s prowess as a cricketer. He acknowledged Kohli as an incredible player who consistently delivered in big games for the Indian side. Smith’s words were a testament to the respect and camaraderie that can exist among competitors on the cricket field. He remarked, “Virat Kohli is an incredible player. He always stepped up and delivered in big games. He has done it again and again for India in big games – there are not many bigger players than Kohli.”
A Conversation to Remember
Both Kohli and Smith had a conversation regarding the incident, and it was even uploaded on the Cricket Australia YouTube channel. This conversation took place as a prelude to India’s tour to Australia in 2020. Although India managed to win the Test and ODI series during that tour, they lost the T20I series.
Looking ahead, India was gearing up for the highly anticipated World Cup scheduled for October 2020. The tournament held special significance for India as it was hosted on home turf. The pressure was on for the Indian side as they aimed to replicate the heroics of 2011, when they clinched their second ODI World Cup victory.
Virat Kohli’s sportsmanship in the face of adversity during the 2019 World Cup left a lasting impression on Steve Smith and cricket fans around the world. It was a reminder that cricket, at its core, is a gentleman’s game where mutual respect and fair play should always prevail. As India prepared to embark on their journey in the 2020 World Cup, Kohli’s gesture served as an enduring symbol of the spirit of cricket.