Cricket

Virat Kohli Reveals Why Father’s Death Did Not Deter His Passion For Cricket

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For Virat Kohli, cricket has been the biggest leveller. In pain or in happiness, Kohli has not let his cricket suffer. The first signs came as early as a teenager trying to break into the big league.

Virat Kohli was 18 when his father Prem left him. He was 54 when he died. It was in the wee hours on December 19, 2006 that Kohli Senior succumbed to a heart attack.

Kohli was playing a Ranji Trophy match against Karnataka. He was batting on 40 overnight. Much to the surprise of his teammates, Kohli returned and scored 90 to save Delhi from a follow-on.

There could not have been a bigger example of how Kohli learnt to handle responsibility from an early age. In cricket, the 100s always don’t become your best innings. A gritty 80, a match-winning 75 on a difficult track can rank higher. And Kohli has many such responsible knocks to show.

Almost a decade after his father’s death, Kohli, now 27, told CNN why his father’s death did not stop him from batting for Delhi.

“I still remember the night my father passed away as it was the hardest time in my life. But the call to play the morning after my father’s death came instinctively to me.
“I called my (Delhi) coach in the morning. I said I wanted to play, because for me not completing a cricket game is a sin.
“That was a moment that changed me as a person. The importance this sport holds in my life is very, very high,” Kohli said.

His single-minded focus on the field has been a hallmark of his game. Kohli’s passion to excel and conquer the odds has already earned a special place in the game’s folklore.
Kohli has often been compared to Sachin Tendulkar and he has been no less than a god to his teammates – Team India or Royal Challengers Bangalore. Interestingly, Tendulkar also went back to play cricket after his father’s death.

Kohli is the leading batsman in IPL 2016. He has been smashing records and recently broke Tendulkar’s record by becoming the only IPL captain to score over 500 runs in IPLs thrice.

His hunger for runs, irrespective of the format, makes Kohli a special man. He is the first to score two centuries in an IPL season. He could well set a higher benchmark, a feat difficult to achieve in the shortest format of the game.
Man of the Tournament in the ICC World T20, Kohli, India’s Test captain, is the best man to replace MS Dhoni, India’s captain in limited overs cricket.

When you have your father’s blessings, nothing is impossible.

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