Virat Kohli got felicitated by former Indian cricketer Farokh Engineer on March 8 with Polly Umrigar Ward. Kohli poured his heart out during the speech. He talked about India’s recent emphatic win against Australia in the second Test at Bengaluru. His speech was a hard-hitting revelation and it felt like he had these emotions bottled up after the Pune Test. Also, he became the first cricketer to receive the award thrice.
Engineer met Kohli with open arms instead of the customary handshake giving him the trophy along with a cheque of Rs 5 Lakhs. Award show anchor Ravi Shastri welcomed him and asked, “Virat, it has been one heck of 12 months for youm what are your thoughts on this feat?”.
Kohli first thanked everyone on behalf of Indian Cricket Team, he said, “It’s been quite unbelievable last 10 to 12 months. As a cricketer, you always have a breakthrough year, for everyone I think, starting late 2015 to 2016 was mine (breakthrough year). I could recall when I got old (2015-16) when I am old, I will remember the breakthrough year of my career. All the work, all the training, hard work and sacrifices,”
He did not forget to thank his teammates as he said, “It could not have been possible without the help of my teammates as I have mentioned before. At times when you do not do well, Champion players in your side step up. Everyone has been able to do so that and that’s why we are the top team at the moment. It’s testimony to the kind of talent we have in the team and how they have pulled the team from difficult situations. I thank all my teammates as well for the support for the trust and the honour. It is a great honour for receiving this for the third time,”
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 8, 2017
Shastri asked the infamous question of the hour, “Now that triggered the spark in Virat Kohli that took his game to a different level, where you led from the front when it came to the work ethics, you changed your diet, went through a discipline where you won;t take no prisoners and you would not give any excuse? What triggered it off?”
Well, I always wanted to be one of the top players in the world for sure. So, I understood what it would take me to maintain my form in all three formats of the game, not just one format because it is very important in a transitional phase to be available in all the three formats, take your country forward. The kind of position BCCI has put me I am very thankful of. I don’t take this opportunity as a job. I have been put in a place and I need to do the right things, set the right examples and follow a certain path that whole team believes in,”
Kohli had a firm message for the haters, he said, “Along the way in my career, I have seen a lot of people doubting me, even now the doubters and haters are all around but one thing is for sure. I have always believed in myself, believed in my heart that if I work hard 120 per cent every day in my life I am not answerable to anyone. I think the reason I thank my teammates is because we play with that kind of attitude, we do not care about what happens outside that change room door. That’s the attitude I have taken over since,”
“I mentioned in 2015 when I stopped pushing pressure on myself. I said to myself that I am working hard enough, I have the talent, I have the ability. I am going to go express myself but if I get an opportunity I will make sure I win games for the team every time I get to play,”
Shastri turned the pages as he talked about the present. He asked Kohli, “Just coming to the present Virat, your team fashioned one of India’s most famous wins today. It will go down as one of India’s greatest win ever, has the penny dropped?”
To this Kohli replied, “Yeah! dropped certainly. On that not very last wicket, we knew the importance of that win. The way we came back into the game, so again, Kudos to the whole team for sticking together. One thing we made very clear if we win together, we need to learn to lose together also. We are not going to run in all directions and we are going to stick together as a pack and come any opportunity towards our side, we know what to we can do as a side,”
“I think that’s the best part of our team as I mentioned before, that was a game everyone would remember for ages”.