Originally published in the Mirror Click here
Virat Kohli will now be known as Virat Ungli. Not because he has the longest finger in the world. But because he thinks he does.
“Why else would he be so keen to proudly display it to the world?” asked Darwinian sociologist Dr. Terryman Key, who took a break from his study on the common DNA strain between Sreesanth and Pattinson to explain to me how an obsession with size and public exhibition is a natural primate instinct.
Virat, in his short international career, has shown all signs of becoming an interest of study for Dr. Key.
“His usage of the finger makes him a unique primate and makes him deserving of a species title,” Dr. Key said. “And Ungli just feels like the right name for him.”
Despite his conviction on the discovery of the Ungli species, Dr. Key found some contradictions that even he couldn’t explain. Take for example Virat’s tweet after the act.
“I agree cricketers don’t have to retaliate. What when the crowd says the worst things about your mother and sister. The worst I’ve heard,” he had tweeted.
Dr. Key compared this with a specially edited package of Virat’s catches and dismissals, each of which was followed by expletives about one’s sister. “In my years of research, I haven’t come across any primate who couldn’t hear himself,” he said still shaking his head.
The man on the street isn’t sympathetic to Virat and feels that the defensive tweet was not befitting of a Delhiite. Gurgaon property dealer Balwinder Singh feels that Virat should have done something more “mardaana” like what Inzamam and Afridi had done.
At least something ban-worthy.
It’s hard for even the die-hard Virat fan to condone Virat’s act, as you can’t possibly be succumbing to every animal instinct unless you are a politician. And let’s face it, Virat is no neta.
So he must face the consequences like some other sportsmen have in the past.
In the 1994 FIFA World Cup, German midfielder Stefan Effenberg was dropped from the squad and sent back home after he showed the finger to fans at Dallas. He never played for Germany again.
The BCCI’s reaction has been as extreme as the German Football Federation’s, except that it’s at the other end of the spectrum. Forget any immediate punishment, there’s not even been a statement condemning the act or a show cause notice or an explanation from team management. Just dead silence.
To probe the BCCI’s view, I called up a couple of senior officials.
“There has been a very big misunderstanding. Virat had earlier seen both Ponting and Clarke raise their bats after reaching their centuries,” the official explained. “In this case, Virat had showed a great fielding effort after which he wanted to acknowledge the crowd. And, unfortunately, he had nothing in his hands other than his finger.”
The other official was far more pragmatic and believable. He said that the Board usually expects its players to respond to criticism by performing on the field. But that you will score runs or take wickets can’t be guaranteed. With the IPL and a packed cricket calendar, the board has been looking at ways of reducing each player’s workload.
“I think Virat did the right thing,” he said. “Why take the tough route when a simpler one is available?”
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