India’s batting icon, Virat Kohli, today would walk into any list of top batsmen in the world, to make a dream team.
However, this wasn’t the case during his formative years in cricket, when he was denied a place in the Delhi side.
The Indian captain in a recent interaction with Sunil Chhetri looked back at the time when his father would not bribe any officials so that he could feature in the Delhi side.
“In my home State (Delhi), sometimes things happen which are not fair. On one occasion, a certain someone did not play by the rules when it came to selection criteria,” Kohli recalled.
His late father believed in Kohli getting into the side solely through his merit and not by ‘giving anything extra’.
“He told my father that while I had the merit to be selected, a little extra (possibly a bribe) was needed to confirm my selection. My father — an honest middle-class man who had worked hard all his life to become a successful lawyer — did not even understand what ‘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’,” further revealed the batting extraordinaire.
This left Kohli heartbroken but also gave him the extra motivation to get into the side. The Delhi-lad realised that the only way to get into the team was through sheer hard work and effort.
“I didn’t get selected. I cried a lot; I was broken. But that incident taught me a lot. I realised that I had to be extraordinary to become successful, and that I had to achieve this purely through my own effort and hard work. My father showed me the right way, through action and not merely words,” Kohli concluded.
After the demise of his father, Kohli believed it gave him the extra zeal to pursue his dream of representing the nation.
It was during the same conversation with the Indian football captain when Kohli talked about the career-making advice he received from his father.