NEW DELHI: Indian captain Virat Kohli has told how his late father refused to pay bribes to put him in the Delhi state junior team when he was a teenager.
The one-day top-ranking hitter did not identify who demanded bribes but said he was rejected by the team, a rejection which made him “broken”.
“In my home state … sometimes unjust things happen,” the Times of India newspaper and other media quoted Kohli in an online forum with Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri.
“On one occasion, someone did not play by the rules for selection criteria,” the captain added.
“He told my father while I was getting merit, a little extra (bribe) was needed to confirm my choice.”
But Kohli said that his father insisted that the election should be based on his ability alone.
“My father just said, ‘If you want to choose Virat then let it be pure because it’s appropriate. I won’t give you anything extra.'”
Kohli said he cried after being told he was not in the team. “I cried a lot. I broke,” he said.
“That incident taught me a lot. I realized that this is how the world operates,” he was quoted as saying.
“If you want to progress, do something that no one else has done. If I have to be successful, I have to be extraordinary.
“And I have to achieve this purely through my own efforts and hard work.
“My father showed me the right way through his actions and not just words. Those little things had a big impact on me,” Kohli was quoted as saying.
Kohli’s father, a lawyer, died when he was 18 years old and played in the Ranji Trophy state match for Delhi. He returned to the bat the day after his father’s death.
“I accept his death because I focus on moving forward with my career,” Kohli said.
“His death made me realize that I had to do something in my life. Now I think about how nice it would be if I could give my father the peaceful retirement life he deserved. Sometimes I get emotional thinking about it.”
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