Furious after being booed by the crowd in Mumbai, Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli said IPL fans tend to forget that he competes for India as well and their jeering can end up creating “hatred among the players”.
Kohli was booed by fans at the Wankhede Stadium after a controversial run-out incident during RCB’s match against the Mumbai Indians in Mumbai on Saturday night.
Kohli was jeered several times after he appealed for a run-out involving Mumbai Indians batsman Ambati Rayudu, who was dismissed in a bizarre manner.
Rayudu seemed to have grounded his bat before it went in the air when he collided with bowler Vinay Kumar. It was at this time that a direct hit from Kohli hit the stumps.
The visitors asked for the third umpire’s decision, which went in their favour. This agitated the crowd and they booed Kohli calling him a “cheat”.
The 24-year-old continued to face the crowd’s ire when he came onto bat and even during the post-match presentation.
“As far as the crowd is concerned, it has happened to a few players in the past as well. I don’t know why they get so worked up during IPL. IPL is not the end of the world. And they forget that the players they are booing for also play for their country,” a livid Kohli said after the match.
“It is only creating hatred among the players. When I come back and play for India, they are going to cheer for me.
It doesn’t work that way. You come to Bangalore and you see how Indian players are appreciated,” he added.
Kohli said he could not understand the crowd behaviour at the Wankhede.
“...I don’t know what is wrong with people in this venue. It feels a bit weird because at the end of the day you play for India and you don’t come here to be hated. Whoever wins or loses, in any of the games, you come to Bangalore, every captain is cheered, every Indian player is cheered.
“People appreciate good cricket. I don’t know why people have so much aggression and so much hatred towards other teams in this particular venue. As I said, IPL is not the end of the world,” Kohli said in the post-match media conference.
On the run-out incident, Kohli explained, “Well, it is very important to have knowledge of cricket. If it was any intentional interruption from the bowler then the umpire would have stopped the batsman.
“It is his job, not mine. The umpire told me it was there. The bowler didn’t see the batsman and the batsman didn’t see the bowler, and they collided. It was perfectly fine to be honest,” he said.
“You should have that much cricket awareness to see where the bowler is coming back to his mark. He has to back up when there is no one behind him.” he added.
Mumbai Indians player Dwayne Smith refused to get drawn into the debate and merely said, “It was a case of fair play but you can’t do anything about it. They decided to go against it.”