In the world of cricket, where fierce rivalries often take centre stage, moments of sportsmanship and camaraderie shine brightly. One such moment etched in cricketing history involves two modern greats, Steve Smith and Virat Kohli. The incident occurred during the 2019 ICC World Cup, and it serves as a testament to the spirit of the game that transcends boundaries and competitions.
The backdrop to this heartwarming incident was Steve Smith’s return to international cricket after a one-year suspension due to his involvement in a ball-tampering scandal. The cricketing world was keenly observing how he would be received by fans, especially during high-profile matches like the one between India and Australia at The Oval in London.
As Smith patrolled the boundary during the India vs. Australia match, he found himself on the receiving end of boos and jeers from Indian fans. It was an understandable reaction given the circumstances, but what happened next is what makes this incident truly remarkable.
Virat Kohli, who was at the crease for India, didn’t merely ignore the situation or let it pass. Instead, he chose to respond with a gesture of genuine sportsmanship. He acknowledged the crowd’s disapproval and, in an impromptu act, gestured towards the section of Indian fans who were jeering Smith.
Kohli’s message was clear: he urged the fans to cease their taunts and instead show their support for the Australian cricketer. It was a simple yet powerful act that transcended the boundaries of competition and showcased the essence of cricket as a gentleman’s game.
Steve Smith, who was the recipient of Kohli’s gracious gesture, didn’t forget this act of goodwill. In an interview with Star Sports, Smith shared his heartfelt appreciation for Kohli’s actions during the 2019 World Cup.
“It was a really kind gesture from Kohli during the 2019 World Cup when the crowd was booing me, and he told them to simply cheer for him. I truly admire Virat for that; it was excellent,” Smith said.
Smith’s admiration for Kohli extended beyond this singular incident. He praised Kohli not only for his sportsmanship but also for his incredible cricketing prowess. Kohli is widely regarded as one of the finest batsmen in modern cricket, and Smith acknowledged his ability to perform exceptionally well in crucial matches.
“Virat Kohli is an amazing player. In crucial games, he’s consistently delivered for India. There aren’t many greater players than Kohli, but he has shown himself time and time again for India in important matches,” Smith concluded.