Chess legend Viswanathan Anand has become the latest top sporting name to disapprove Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli for his ‘leave India’ comments for his fans. Speaking in Kolkata, the five-time World Chess champion said that Kohli would be the first one to recognise that he too had plenty of fans outside India and none of them had to leave the country.
Anand felt that Kohli was caught at a weak moment adding that he was perhaps not in his best mood. “I think he lost control. He got a bit emotional and he just said the first thing that came to his mind.
“I think he was caught at a weak moment. That is the impression I get. He was feeling a bit sensitive and was not in the best mood maybe, and then this question came up. Then he lost control of it. The question was posed to him when he was not fully in control and he got a bit annoyed. It came across like that to me,” Anand was quoted by news agency IANS.
Kohli had earned considerable condemnation after he told one of his fans to leave India if he admired batsmen from England and Australia. His critics had asked him to stop sounding like motormouth BJP spokespersons.
Kohli had said, “I don’t think you should live in India. Go and live somewhere else. Why are you living in our country and loving other countries? I don’t mind you not liking me. I don’t you should live in our country and like other’s thing. Get your priorities sorted.”
Noted commentator Harsha Bhogle too had condemned Kohli for his comments, “Virat Kohli’s statement is a reflection of the bubble that most famous people either slip into or are forced into. The voices within it are frequently those that they wish to hear. It is a comfortable bubble and that is why famous people must try hard to prevent it from forming.”
The India cricket borad, BCCI, too had reportedly expressed its displeasure at Kohli’s comments. Faced with growing outrage, the Indian skipper had later taken to Twitter to clarify, “I guess trolling isn’t for me guys, I’ll stick to getting trolled! I spoke about how “these Indians” was mentioned in the comment and that’s all. I’m all for freedom of choice. Keep it light guys and enjoy the festive season. Love and peace to all.”