Off The Field

‘Virat went to his room, started crying’: Ex-Delhi teammate recalls Kohli’s emotional outburst

Written by Mohan Sharma

Former Indian captain Virat Kohli is widely regarded as one of the best batters in modern-day cricket. Kohli, who has 70 international centuries to his name, began his India career in 2008 with an ODI against Sri Lanka, and was an integral part of India’s World Cup-winning campaign in 2011, as well as the Champions Trophy win two years later. Before his exploits with India, however, Kohli ruled the roost for his state side Delhi, where his journey began in 2002. Kohli first represented the Delhi U15 side, and four years later, made his first-class debut for the side.

Kohli’s former Delhi teammate Pradeep Sangwan, who most recently appeared for the Gujarat Titans in the 2022 Indian Premier League, has now recalled an interesting incident involving Kohli from his U17 days. Sangwan recalled that Kohli was quite an emotional person when it came to cricket, and often cried when he didn’t get the runs from his bat. When asked to recall an incident, Sangwan revealed one from their U17 match in Punjab.

“We were playing in an U17 match in Punjab. He (Kohli) hadn’t been scoring big in the past 2-3 innings. We had a coach named Ajit Chaudhary who used to call him ‘Cheeku’. Virat was the main player of our team, and Ajit sir funnily suggested, ‘let’s tell him he will not play in the next match’. We all joined in on the prank,” Sangwan recalled in an interview with News24.

“In the team meeting, sir didn’t announce Virat’s name. He went to his room and started crying! He phone-called sir and said I’ve scored a 200 and a 250.. he had scored big in that season, to be honest. It’s just that he didn’t get enough runs in the past 2-3 innings. He got so emotional he even phone-called Rajkumar sir (Virat’s childhood coach)!” Sangwan further revealed.

“Then, he came to me and asked, ‘Tell me Sangwan, what’s wrong? I scored so many runs this season’. I told him, ‘Yes yes, that’s very wrong!’. He wasn’t able to sleep all night as well. He said, “No, I don’t want to sleep. What’s the point of sleeping when I’m not playing?’ Then, I told him that he’s playing. It was all a prank!” said Sangwan.

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Mohan Sharma