India captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday paid rich tributes to the retiring Ashish Nehra as ‘one of the smartest cricketers’ he has ever played with. The first T20 International was Nehra’s final international match of a career that started way back in 1999.
When asked about a photo of Nehra giving an award to a young Kohli long time back, the Indian captain said, “That was back in 2003 after he had come back from the World Cup. I was 13 then and struggling for a place in the school team.
“To have played 19 years is very hard for a fast bowler. I know how professional he’s been and how hard he’s worked. He deserved this kind of a farewell with the crowd cheering him. He can now spend time with his family, he’s got a beautiful family. We’ll stay in touch but we’ll miss him and I wish him all the best,” Kohli added.
Ashish Nehra’s words about the viral picture:
“I’m not on social media but that picture has become popular now because where Virat Kohli is today. Otherwise, it was just a picture on the wall and nobody would have admired it. Now that picture belongs to Virat Kohli,” Nehra told Hindustan Times.
Nehra said that the photograph was clicked 13 years back, adding that nobody had talked about then. “This picture was taken some 13 years back. When I was playing in 2009-11, Virat was also playing. Then nobody talked about that picture. It’s all about media and social media.”