Wasn’t selected once in a Delhi junior team as dad didn’t agree to pay bribe, says Virat Kohli

In a shocking revelation, India captain Virat Kohli has said that he once failed to find a place in a Delhi junior team because his father did not agree to pay a bribe.

“In my home state (Delhi)… sometimes things happen that are not fair… On one occasion, a certain someone did not play by the rules when it came to selection criteria. He told my father while I had the merit, a little extra (bribe) was needed to confirm my selection,” Kohli said in a web chat with Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri.

Kohli said that his father was an honest middle-class man who had worked hard to achieve something in life and he never knew what that ‘little extra’ meant. My father simply said, ‘If you want to select Virat, then let it be purely on merit. I will give you nothing extra’,” Kohli said.

“I didn’t get selected. I cried a lot. I was broken,” Kohli remembered.

The India captain then went add on to explain what he learnt from the experience, Kohli said, “That incident taught me a lot. I realised that this world runs like this. If you want to progress, do something that no one else is doing. If I had to become successful, I needed to be extraordinary. And I had to achieve this purely through my own effort and hard work. My father showed me the right way, through his actions and not merely words. Those little things had a great impact on me.”

Notably, Kohli’s father died when the India skipper was playing a Ranji Trophy match for Delhi against Karnataka in 2006. Kohli, who was only 18 at that time went to the ground the next morning after the demise of his father and played a superb innings for Delhi.

“I accepted his death, as I was focused on moving forward with my career. In fact, I went and batted in a Ranji Trophy match the day after he died. His death made me realise that I had to make something of my life. Now, I think about how nice it would be if I could have given my father the peaceful retired life that he deserved. At times, I get emotional thinking about him,” Kohli said.