Not so long ago, Virat Kohli was at the centre of a huge backlash after he told one of his fans to leave India since he had called him an ‘overrated batsman.’ The fan in question had also said that he enjoyed watching batsmen from Australia and England more than the Indians. Many had then accused Kohli of sounding like a BJP spokesperson. However, just a few months later, Kohli has found himself at the receiving end of BJP supporters, who are targeting him and his actress wife Anushka Sharma for the Indian cricket captain’s comments on Pakistan.
Amidst loud chorus by the Hindutva brigade to boycott Pakistan in this year’s World Cup, Kohli told reporters in Visakhapatnam on Saturday that he will follow the advice of the Indian cricket board on whether the team should play against Pakistan or not. Speaking to reporters on the eve of India’s first T20 International match against Australia, Kohli said, “Our stand is simple. We stick by what the nation wants to do and what the BCCI decides to do and that is basically our opinion.”
He added, “Whatever the government and the board decide, we will eventually go by that and will respect that. So that is our stand on this particular issue.”
#WATCH Virat Kohli on Ind Vs Pak in World Cup says, “Our sincere condolences to the families of CRPF soldiers who lost their lives in #PulwamaAttack. We stand by what the nation wants to do and what the BCCI decides to do.” pic.twitter.com/gjyJ9qDxts
— ANI (@ANI) February 23, 2019
No sooner had his comments been made public, the popular cricketer began to face merciless trolling by the right-wing trolls on Twitter with some even using slurs for his wife.
User Skin Doctor wrote, “Hey @imVkohli, I guess everyone is entitled a personal opinion also. U must be having too. This is not the BCCI’s or govt’s country only, it’s urs too. If Pak cricketers can bash India over Pulwama, what stops u from opening ur heart? It’s not the time for political correctness.”
User Alok Srivastava asked, “Will you divorce your wife if the BCCI asks you to do so?” User Dr Hanni Ballu wrote, “Diplomatic answer maat de grow a spine and say ‘I am the indian captain and in my personal opinion I don’t want to play a match against PAK’.” User Hindu Wolverline replied, “He wouldn’t. Anushka Sharma will be screwed unnecessarily.” User Mita Mehta wrote, “Virat Kohli Ji your wife is very active during Diwali season & hv her opinion. Why not you??”
The controversy over whether India should play against Pakistan in the World Cup gained momentum on Friday after Republic TV’s controversial anchor Arnab Goswami was accused of calling Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar anti-national. This was after Sachin opposed the idea of boycotting Pakistan arguing that this will only help the latter with free two points.
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