Tuesday May 19, 2020
Cricket superstar Virat Kohli has shed light on bribe culture in Indian cricket system, saying that his father Prem Kohli was once asked for a "little extra" by a local selector to secure his place in the side.
Virat, while speaking to Indian footballer Sunil Chhetri, said that he merited a place in the team but his father was still asked to cough up cash.
"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. 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," he said.
However, Kohli Sr refused to pay and instead remained firm that his son would make it into the team on his own.
"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'," he said.
Virat admitted that his non-selection left him gutted but allowed him to inherit and learn the principles set by his father. It eventually pushed him to persevere in the sport which he now dominates.
"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," he recalled.