A great moment in cricket world cup arrived when Virat Kohli asked the crowd to stop booing and applaud the Australian cricket, Steve Smith, who was fielding at the boundary. ICC termed this moment as the Spirit of Cricket.
The crowd has been into booing mode ever since Smith landed in England. He was booed in the warm-up games and then again in the first two games of the World Cup. Before Kohli, English off-spinner, Moeen Ali also appealed to the spectators not to boo Smith during the World cup. Steve Smith was banned, along with Warner and Bancroft, for a year after they were caught rubbing the ball with sandpaper, to help it swing more.
In the press conference on crowd booing Steve Smith, Kohli said “He has apologized, and come back. He has been down. It is not okay to boo & didn’t want the Indian crowd to set a bad example. He doesn’t deserve to be booed. So I apologized to him on behalf of the crowd.”
Watch: Kohli asked the crowd to applaud Steve Smith
With India fans giving Steve Smith a tough time fielding in the deep, @imVkohli suggested they applaud the Australian instead.
— ICC (@ICC) June 9, 2019
Kohli further added, “What happened, happened long back. He’s back, trying to play well for his side. Not good to see someone down like that. You don’t want to see a guy feeling heat every time he goes out to play.”
Steve Smith already said after the warm-up game against England that he pays no attention to the crowd.
“If I was in a position where something had happened with me, and I’d apologised and accepted it, and came back and still I would get booed, I wouldn’t like it either.”#ViratKohli on why he asked the fans to stop booing Steve Smith. #CWC19 | #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/CIMicjoSA0
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 9, 2019
Virat Kohli, who is known for his aggressive nature, had once shown the middle finger to the Australian crowd during his first tour of Australia. But then he was young, and eight years after that incident, Kohli has matured a lot. He is now the Indian captain and he leads from the front, he apologized on behalf of the Indian fans.
“I just felt for him, and I told him sorry on behalf of the crowd because I have seen that happen in a few earlier games as well. In my opinion, that’s not acceptable,” said the Indian captain.
India will play New Zealand in their next encounter on Thursday.