Star Pakistan batter Mohammad Rizwan garnered a lot of attention recently when he referred to former India captain as ‘our Virat Kohli’ during an interview. Now, in another interaction, Rizwan has opened up about why he made that statement. He recalled his first meeting with Kohli during the India vs Pakistan match at last year’s T20 World Cup. After the match, images of Kohli hugging and embracing Rizwan after the match went viral
In a chat with Cricwick, Mohammad Rizwan addressed the cricket fraternity as a whole, calling it one big unit, and said: “We are like a family. If I say ‘our Virat Kohli’, then I will not be wrong. Or ‘our Pujara’, ‘our Smith’ or ‘our Root’, because we all are one family.”
During a recent chat with Waheed Khan on his Youtube show, Cricket Baaz, Mohammad Rizwan said, “It was the first time I met Kohli. The kind of things I had heard about him… like other players told me ‘Virat is aggressive and all’. But the way he met me before and after the match was amazing. If I said ‘he is our Virat Kohli’, it’s because we all are a family.”
He further added, “Obviously, when we enter the ground, no one is a star. There we have no brotherhood or anything of that sort. But outside the field, when we met Kohli, and some of our players also met MS Dhoni, we met with a lot of love and affection. Nothing was different.”
While there is no certainty over the resumption of bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan, the two teams do face off in ICC events. In fact, this year in the English County Championship, Rizwan is teammates with India batter Cheteshwar Pujara for Sussex where the two have spent quality time. Rizwan opened up on his camaraderie with Pujara and summed up by saying that every time players of India and Pakistan meet off the field, there is nothing but respect between the players.
Mohammad Rizwan said, “Even in County cricket, where Pujara is with me, believe me, we live with so much love. In fact, I am the one who keeps bugging him, call him out. He keeps laughing. Similarly, it was same with Virat Kohli as well. When I met him the first time, it was with a lot of love and affection.”