Virat Kohli’s Teammate Recalled Emotional Match After His Father’s Demise

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It’s a story of incredible determination, passion towards the game, and mind-boggling mental fortitude when Virat Kohli came out to bat in a Ranji game hours after his father’s passing away.

Virat Kohli is set to become only the 12th Indian cricketer to play in 100 Tests when he will take the field against Sri Lanka at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali, on Friday.

As ‘King’ Kohli approaches this personal landmark, Punit Bisht, his former Delhi teammate, recollected how things transpired when a 17-year-old Kohli decided to play a 2006 Ranji game against Karnataka, just the night after he suffered the loss of his father, Prem Kohli.

Prem, a lawyer by profession, suffered a brain stroke in the middle of the night. A young Virat still went to the field the next morning as Delhi were in a pickle and needed the match to be saved.

Virat Kohli’s Teammate Recalled Emotional Match After His Father’s Demise

Bisht, who was not out alongside Kohli ahead of the day’s play, revealed that when he entered the dressing room on the third day of the match, there was stun silence all around Kohli who was sitting with teary eyes. He expressed astonishment at Kohli’s will to continue playing despite having suffered a colossal tragedy.

“To this day I wonder, how in the world did he muster the courage to drop in at the ground. We were all numb at his tragedy and here the boy was standing in the dressing room and ready to go out and bat,” Bisht told PTI.

“Mind it, his father’s last rites hadn’t been performed and he had just come because he didn’t want his team to lose a batter as we were not in a great position.

“Chetan [Chauhan] sir, if memory doesn’t serve me wrong, was our coach that season. Both Chetan sir and Mithun [Manhas] bhai told Virat to go home as they were not sure whether it would be a prudent idea to let the kid go out there in a tense situation and how he would mentally cope up, “ he added.

Virat Kohli’s Teammate Recalled Emotional Match After His Father’s Demise

Kohli went on to score 90 runs in that game and saved the game for Delhi.

“Trust me, no one in the team even had a second thought that he should go back and be with his family and take his own time to grieve. But this is Virat Kohli we are talking about. He was made of different stuff,” Bisht exclaimed.