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BCCI must send out strong message to finger-wagging Virat Kohli

There is a general feeling that Kohli will get away without any reprimand or punishment because of the sheer weight of the bulk of runs he has scored for India over the years. It is imperative for the BCCI to step in and serve out a message loud and clear that no individual is bigger than the game.

Virat Kohli relaxes after the final training session before the World Cup match against West Indies

No cricketer is above the game. It really doesn’t matter how much of a presence the player enjoys in the side – so what if he is the captain or destined to be the ‘future captain’ in all formats. Quite clearly, India’s ace batsman Virat Kohli’s finger-wagging gesture at an Indian journalist in Perth during a nets session has raised more eyebrows than one would have expected initially.

There is a general feeling that Kohli will get away without any reprimand or punishment because of the sheer weight of the bulk of runs he has scored for India over the years. It is imperative for the BCCI to step in and serve out a message loud and clear that no individual is bigger than the game.

Of course, India has a crucial World Cup tie against West Indies and the board could see sense in not dwelling on this issue in the middle of the marquee event. The newly-elected BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya and BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur should not miss out on this opportunity to send out a strong message to the players, but they at the same time won’t want this issue to be a distraction for the players.

Kohli must apologize to aggrieved scribe

The choice of invectives hurled by Kohli at the Hindustan Times journalist was certainly uncalled for. The fact that Kohli’s outburst later panned out to be a case of mistaken identity cannot justify his act. Kohli was apparently livid with a scribe for a story written on him in a national daily. Just because the India’s batting mainstay apologized through another journalist once he realized that he was not the intended scribe, his act cannot be pardoned.

The focus is on the World Cup and no distractions should be encouraged, but the team management must talk to Kohli and ask him to restrain from such acts in future. The Indian Test skipper must tender an apology to the aggrieved journalist and that is the only way the issue can be given a ‘full stop.’

Lot to offer Indian cricket

One would expect the likes of coach Duncan Fletcher, team director Ravi Shastri and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to have a word with Kohli and offer some ‘anger management’ wisdom. There is nothing wrong in being belligerent but when one crosses the line of decency, that aggression does not remain one’s strong point.

Kohli is poised to be the Indian captain in all formats and it is important that he curbs his anger as he has a lot to offer to Indian cricket. In India, we tend to treat cricketers as demigods who can do no ‘wrong’ – what they say are God’s last words on earth. One hopes a few better words issue from Kohli in the near future.

It is crucial that the BCCI makes Kohli understand that the board will not refrain from any disciplinary action if such an act is repeated in future.

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