Shame On You Virat Kohli, For Your Petty, Intolerant Definition Of An 'Indian Cricket Fan'

What is the next thing you're going to ask of your fans,Virat Kohli? Ask them to wear kurtas and sherwanis while watching you bat?

We hailed you as the best batsman in the world. We marvelled at your incredible hunger for runs across all formats. We even tolerated the tantrums you threw about being surrounded by ‘yes men’ (read: Ravi Shastri) in the dressing room, even if it resulted in the humiliation of India’s greatest bowler, Anil Kumble. And yet, you simply ask us to pack our bags and move to a different country, if we so much as preferred an English or Aussie counterpart over you. Slightly unreasonable, don’t you think?

Virat Kohli, you should be ashamed of the way you think about the game of cricket, or sports itself. Do you think love for cricket should be limited within one’s own country’s borders? For the longest time, we (Indians) were termed as one of the most jingoistic crowds in the world. But thanks to the IPL and players of the calibre of AB De Villiers, Chris Gayle and Rashid Khan, fans of cricket became more receptive to the sport, rather than the performance of just our national team. Love for one cricketer, be it desi or foreign, does not in any way take away from respect or love for another, does it? So for you to say that anyone who admire foreign batsmen instead of our ‘boys in blue’ should move to a different country is narrow-minded beyond belief. Does this logic apply to your fans abroad as well?

You recently completed 10,000 runs in One Day Internationals and it wasn’t surprising that you were being widely regarded as a G.O.A.T (greatest of all time). We admire your constant drive to do the best for your country, but for you to paint fans and critics with a jingoistic brush is just… daft.

It’s one thing to be confident of your abilities. And it’s amazing how you can shut the world down on a daily basis, and go about your job while breaking one record after another. You’re an incredible sportsman, but it’s downright pathetic how you look at cricket fans in India. For you to rebuff anyone just because they prefer a Joe Root or a Steve Smith is not just petty, but also gives us a glimpse of the rot inside your head, where any kind of criticism is viewed as an ‘attack’ and where all critics are enemies. Your brash answers at press conferences and your tempestuous relationship with the media, is well documented. You’ve got to be more magnanimous than this.

Virat Kohli, you might go on to become one of the greatest cricketers of all time. You might decimate Sachin Tendulkar’s records. But if this is how you think of an Indian fan, the love for watching you bat might disappear faster than you can utter cuss words on field.

Yours Truly,

An Indian Cricket Fan