By abusing umpire Sudhir Asnani on his way back to the pavilion after being adjudged leg before wicket, Virat Kohli has yet again undone his image in the public By abusing umpire Sudhir Asnani on his way back to the pavilion after being adjudged leg before wicket, Virat Kohli have yet again undone his image in the public


Virat Kohli was probably unfortunate to be given lbw by umpire Sudhir Asnani in the third ODI at Ahmedabad. But his reaction to the umpire’s decision was stunning, to put it mildly. A horrified Sidhanta Patnaik writes an open letter to Kohli.


Dear Virat,


What was that we saw at Ahmedabad on Monday?!


Only the other day the Twitter timeline was filled with rave reviews about you after that match-winning century against West Indies in the second One-Day International (ODI) at Vizag. By abusing umpire Sudhir Asnani on Monday your way back to the pavilion after being adjudged leg before wicket you have yet again undone your image in the public. This is not the first time that you have shown your ugly side in open. This falsified pride is not a good friend to have if your intentions are to stay here for long. One sincerely hopes that by now someone in the dressing room would have already had a quite word with you and told you that all of 3035 runs that you have scored for the country in 82 matches of varying formats stand for zero value. First you need to learn to be dignified in your behaviour because then only will you be able to build the reputation that you are already being expected to build.


We have never seen the likes of Javagal Srinath, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar or MS Dhoni misbehave and use unparliamentarily language in the public and there is a general consensus that you belong to that class of cricketers with respect to your technical skills and match-winning abilities. Therefore the country cannot afford to lose you in this maze of false trap of showy aggression like a few of your team mates.


The entire nation has already pinned its hope on you. You are being looked upon by administrators and marketers as that single individual cricketer who will drive people through the turnstile after Sachin Tendulkar retires. A lot of corporate are planning their next five year plan in India keeping your brand image as their central theme. You have a reputation to live up to and however difficult it might sound but you have this burdensome and glamour less duty of maintaining your composure in public without letting your guard down ever, something only a few cricketers have managed to do in India.


You need to understand that had some other cricketer coming from a tier B or tier C city of India done what you did last night then may be the country would have overlooked, but not you. Your one quote, “Sachin Tendulkar has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years. It is time we carried him on our shoulders” speaks of your eloquence and intelligence. And, recently, when you showed your concerns for Yuvraj Singh’s health, the country got to see your softer side. Moreover, you are from New Delhi, the country’s capital and belong to the literate class. Yes, people from up north are known to be aggressive and hot headed, but that cannot count as an excuse for what you did on Monday night.


You are a poster boy who is looked up to by the modern youth. You are in the wish list of every young girl’s must-have boyfriend list. Therefore, you have to channelise that aggression in the right manner and not use it as a cover. Your passion for the game and urge to contribute every time you take the field is well appreciated but that does not entitle you the rights to abuse the game’s authority. What precedence are you setting by doing so? Or don’t you care about the legacy you will leave behind? You are smart enough to care about these intangible, collateral benefits and obligations that come along with the India cricketer tag.


Did you not think how much it would hurt Sudhir Asnani’s self esteem? His family and friends must be glowing in pride watching one of their own on the television screen doing an international profile job and then, all of a sudden, they would have got the shock of their lives seeing you abuse him. What about your family? Or have they stopped questioning you?


You are one for the future. Therefore one wrong decision should not really matter to you in the larger scheme of things. In an ideal world keeping the interest of Indian cricket’s long term benefits in mind you should be banned for a few Test matches during which another batsman should seize his opportunity. Then it would hurt you where it has to and you will never repeat this error.


Grow up, Virat. It’s perfectly alright to be angry, but not a bit acceptable to behave like a roadside, barbaric hooligan. Please do not harass the sentiments of value-loving Indians anymore or else you might soon lose out on the vote bank of this great nation. Or, have I grown too old to catch the pulse?




Sidhanta Patnaik


(Sidhanta Patnaik is a sports marketing professional, public speaker and a part time writer. His twitter id is @sidhpat)