India cricket team skipper Virat Kohli feels his predecessor thrice removed Saurav Ganguly’s famous shirtless tirade at the balcony of the hallowed Lord’s dressing room to celebrate his team’s emphatic victory against the home side in the 2002 NatWest Trophy final was a moment of pure human emotion coming through.
“When I saw that moment happen… I think it is very difficult for people to understand but those things are so organic, so pure that you just go with with without worrying about judgement or what are people are going to say about you,” said Kohli, who was present at a city hotel for a book launch event in Kolkata.
It was in the Lord’s balcony but it could have been anywhere in the world. That was just the pure happiness coming through after you have achieved something against the odds, he noted.
Sourav Ganguly hailed Kohli for his capacity to lead the team from the front and backed him repeat a similar shirtless celebration if he manages to win the 2019 World Cup, to be hosted by England and Wales.
“I can guarantee you now that if he wins that final in Lord’s in 2019, I will be there, you will be there and we better get our cameras ready. As he has got the six packs, I won’t be surprised if he is on the Oxford street with the trophy and with his shirt off… and I can tell you who will be following him — Hardik Pandya,” Ganguly added on a lighter note.
“This is the way I want to express myself and I never felt there is anything wrong with that because that was pure human emotion coming through, said Virat Kohli.
Kohli, who is often hailed for a similarly aggressive approach towards the game as Ganguly, said a player cannot always act thinking about the people’s judgement or reactions but needs to be himself and enjoy when such iconic moments arrive.
You cannot be a robot operating for the sake of what people are going to write or say about you. You have to honest towards the game and you have to be yourself, he said.
Kohli, who was a teenager at the time of India’s famous feat in the NatWest Final 16 years ago, reminisced he went off to sleep after India lost half their side quickly following a decent start by the openers.
“The game started off brilliantly and Dada (Saurav) and Viru (Virender Sehwag) came out all guns blazing. I thought this is our game because those totals back in the days were very difficult to get, especially against England in England in a Final. I slept off when we were 150 for 5 because I could not take the sadness,” he said adding he felt it was a dream when India pulled off a stunning victory.