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On this day: Virat Kohli's gesture for Steve Smith in 2019 World Cup wins hearts

Indian captain Virat Kohli urged the crowd to not boo Steve Smith - a gesture which won the hearts of cricket fans around the world.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Published on: June 09, 2020 9:12 IST
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Indian captain Virat Kohli urged the crowd to not boo Steve Smith - a gesture which won the hearts of cricket fans around the world.

Indian captain Virat Kohli has always been passionate and aggressive on the field. However, on this day in the 2019 World Cup, the Indian captain came up with a heartwarming gesture for Australia's Steve Smith, who was having a rather difficult time on the boundary line.

During the group stage game of the tournament, Virat Kohli urged the crowd to not boo Steve Smith - a gesture which earned appreciation from fans and experts around the world. At the end of the over, Smith, too, acknowledged the gesture on the field.

The Australian batsman was making a comeback to international cricket after serving a one-year ban on ball-tampering charges. He, along with opener David Warner (who also served the ban) had been receiving hostile treatment by fans throughout the tournament.

The gesture from the Indian captain was also acknowledged by the ICC, who awarded him the 'Spirit of Cricket' award earlier this year. Virat said that he supported Smith because of the camaraderie he shared with him as a fellow sportsman.

"It is part of camaraderie that sportsmen must have with each other," the Indian skipper had said.

"That moment was purely understanding an individual's situation. I don't think a guy who is coming out of a situation like that needs to be taken advantage of," he recalled.

"You can sledge, can have banter on the field, you say things to the opposition in wanting to beat them. But booing someone is not in the spirit of any sport, I don't endorse it." (ALSO READ: West Indies depart for England for three-Test tour)

India produced a clinical performance to beat Australia by 36 runs in the game. Shikhar Dhawan (117), Rohit Sharma (57), Virat Kohli (82) and Hardik Pandya (48) made significant contributions as India finished with a strong score of 352/5.

In reply, Australia were bowled out on 316, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah taking three-wickets each. India eventually reached the semifinals of the tournament where they faced an 18-run defeat to New Zealand.

Australia's campaign in the World Cup also ended in the semis, as they conceded an 8-wicket defeat to eventual champions England.

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