Wasn’t selected in junior cricket as father refused to pay bribe: Virat Kohli

Wasn’t selected in junior cricket as father refused to pay bribe: Virat Kohli

India cricket team captain Virat Kohli once failed to make it to the side in domestic cricket when his father refused to pay bribe. Kohli in an Instagram chat with India football team captain Sunil Chhetri revealed that his father was asked to do a ‘little extra’ for his selection but his father Prem refused to do so, saying that his son’s selection will be on merit.

“In state cricket... sometimes things happen that are not exactly fair... On one occasion, a certain someone did not play by the rules when it came to selection criteria,” Kohli told Chhetri.

“He told my father while I had the merit, a little extra (bribe) was needed to confirm my,” he added.

The Indian captain then went on to narrate how his father did not pay any heed to the suggestion and instead believed in the merit of his son.

“My father was an honest middle-class man who had worked hard all his life to become a successful lawyer. He studied under street lights. He did not even understand what that ‘little extra’ meant. My father simply said, ‘If you want to select Virat, then let it be purely on merit. I will give you nothing extra’,” Kohli added.

The right-hander then went to add how disappointed he was with the rejection but learnt a lesson for a lifetime.

“I didn’t get selected. I cried a lot. I was broken,” Kohli said.

“That incident taught me a lot. I realised that this world runs like this. If you want to progress, do something that no one else is doing. If I had to become successful, I needed to be extraordinary. And I had to achieve this purely through my own effort and hard work. My father showed me the right way, through his actions and not merely words. Those little things had a great impact on me,” Kohli recalled.

Kohli lost his father when he was only 18 and playing a Ranji Trophy match against Karnataka. He came back to bat the next day and played a gritty innings with partner Punit Bisht to salvage a draw for his team Delhi.