Virat Kohli has found himself embroiled in controversy off the field after suggesting that Indian cricket fans who support overseas batsmen over those from their national team should leave the country.
Kohli, who is currently on a break from national duty, made the statement during the launch of the Virat Kohli official app on Monday during his 30th birthday. The Indian skipper was responding to a series of mean tweets, in which one user revealed supporting Australian and English batsmen more than Indians.
— H (@Hramblings) November 6, 2018
"Over-rated batsman. Personally, I see nothing special in his batting. I enjoy watching English and Australian batsmen more than these Indians," read one of the comments, according to News18. To which the Indian batting superstar responded with the following statement: "Okay, I don’t think you should live in India then... you should go and live somewhere else no. Why are you living in our country and loving other countries? I don’t mind you not liking me but I don’t think you should live in our country and like other things. Get your priorities right." The comment clearly didn't go down well with a number of social media users. Here are some of the reactions from the Twitterati:
@imVkohli @ICC @CAComms @ECB_cricket isn't it our democracy and rights to love a player of our own choice. Just coz we are from India it doesn't mean we should hate other countries.
Can you make a video again and tell that other than Indians none should like our country? pic.twitter.com/JoUIQw4zkl
— Anirudh karthik (@Anirudh_d_jack) November 7, 2018
While the Indian skipper is known to be an outspoken cricketer who doesn't mince his words, and gives it back to the opposition on the field, his latest comments are being perceived as imposing, and an attack on the fans in terms of their right to choose their idols.
Kohli has been rested for the T20I leg of West Indies' tour of India after leading the hosts to 2-0 and 3-1 series victories in the Tests and ODIs respectively. He will be seen in action during the tour of Australia next, in which the Indians are slated to play three T20Is, as many one-dayers and four Tests.