Absconding businessman Vijay Mallya, who is wanted by the Indian authorities, on Monday landed up at a ‘charity dinner’ hosted by Virat Kohli’s foundation, but the national cricket team including the skipper maintained a safe distance from him.
In fact, Mallya's presence forced the Indian team to leave early in order to avoid any controversy.
Mallya had earlier watched India's match against Pakistan at the Edgbaston on Sunday. He has currently taken refuge in England.
The Indian government is attempting to get Mallya extradited from UK for alleged unpaid debts to the tune of Rs 9000 crore.
Incidentally, Mallya used to own Royal Challengers Bangalore, an IPL franchise which is captained by Kohli.
A BCCI source present at the event confirmed that Kohli and the Indian team were "uncomfortable" due to Mallya's presence.
"Look, Virat or his foundation never invited Mallya at the function. But normally what happens at the charity dinner is that someone who has bought a table is entitled to invite his guests. Similarly, someone who bought a table must have invited him," a top BCCI source present at the function said.
"The Indian team wasn't comfortable and they maintained a dignified distance from Mallya. Mallya's presence is one of the reasons that the team left early. The players were very uncomfortable. It was an unavoidable situation as one couldn't have possibly asked him to leave," the source said.
Mallya was also spotted at the India-Pakistan Champions Trophy clash on Sunday. In a photo which was shared widely on social media, the fugitive businessman was spotted with Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar.
While India TV could not independently verify the photo of Mallya with Gavaskar, but the liquor baron was wearing the same attire seen in other photos shared from the match.
Gavaskar, who appeared to be looking at something on the liquor baron's phone, and Mallya both could be seen wearing Champions Trophy lanyards – a stadium pass as well as pitch pass.
Mallya, also the former owner of IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore, fled the country in March 2016 after he was exposed as one of the 11 people named in CBI's charge sheet regarding Kingfisher Airlines's unpaid loans to IDBI Bank.
The total outstanding loan with interest now stands at Rs 9,000 crore.