Australia run-machine Steve Smith spilled the beans on the incident in the World Cup where Virat Kohli urged the crowd to cheer for the Australian who was making a comeback from the ban. The former Australian skipper, who had been banned for a year for being involved in the Sandpaper Gate scandal, was receiving boos from the hostile English crowd during the World Cup game against India. Virat Kohli, who was on the field at that moment, asked the crowd to cheer for Steve Smith rather than booing him down, an act that won the Indian skipper the Spirit of Cricket award for 2019.
Speaking to a news agency, Steve Smith revealed that it was very nice of Virat Kohli to make such a gesture and that he did not have to really do it. Steve Smith went on to heap praise on skipper Virat Kohli's ability with the bat and as a captain, predicting that Kohli was bound to break more records, as many as he had already broken and across all formats of the game. Smith jokingly hoped that Virat Kohli stop his phenomenal form against Australia so that it would be 'nice'
"I'm surprised that I have got it, after many years of being under the scanner for the wrong things," Kohli said in a statement issued by the ICC.
Explaining his reasons for backing Smith the way he did, Kohli added, "That moment was purely understanding an individua's situation. I don't think a guy who is coming out of a situation like that needs to be taken advantage of." The passionate Kohli, who was once fined 50 percent of his match fees after he was seen showing the middle finger to the crowd as a reaction to some hostility from fans, is strictly against booing.
"That should not be a representation of our fans and what we stand as a cricketing nation, a sporting nation. "We need to all take responsibility towards that. Intimidate the opposition, definitely try and have an upper hand but in a matter that is not targeting someone emotionally. "That is not acceptable at any level and people should be wary of that."