By Kalash Khurana Last Updated:
Virat Kohli had left his fans in utter shock with the announcement of his decision to step down as the Indian cricket team's captain. Many fans had lauded him for his efforts and had called him a 'KING', who has never let them down. However, some of the fans were disappointed, watching their favourite cricketer step down as captain. Virat Kohli's batting skills have been affected for the past two years, and he has not scored an international century since 2019. Now, former Pakistani cricketer, Shoaib Akhtar blamed Virat's marriage with Anushka Sharma for bumps in the 33-year-old cricketer's career.
On January 15, 2022, Virat had left the nation shocked with his post on Instagram. He had announced his decision of stepping down as the captain of test cricket. A snippet of his long note could be read as:
"There have been many ups and also some downs along the journey, but never has there been a lack of effort or lack of belief. I have always believed in giving my 120 percent in everything I do, and if I can't do that, I know its not the right thing to do."
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Former Pakistani cricketer, Shoaib Akhtar, in an interview with Dainik Jagran, commented on Virat Kohli's decision to step down as the captain. He even claimed that he was never in favour of Virat becoming a captain and shared that he wanted the former captain to focus on his batting and keep scoring for Team India. Shoaib said:
"Virat captained for 6-7 years and I was never in favour of his captaincy, I just wanted him to keep scoring 100-120 runs and keep the focus on his batting."
Shoaib further added that if he were in Virat's place, he would never have got married. He shared that he feels that marriage adds a lot more responsibility to a player's life. According to him, the added responsibilities of captaincy take a toll on a player's performance. He shared:
"I would have not even married if I were in his place. I had just scored runs and enjoyed cricket, these 10-12 years of cricket are different time and doesn't come again, I am not saying getting married is wrong but If you are playing for India, you would have enjoyed the time a little. Fans are crazy about Kohli and he had to maintain the love that he is getting for the last 20 years."
Shoaib also talked about the effect of marriage on a cricketer’s life and said that the pressure from family and kids affects a player's mindset. Talking about the same, he pointed out:
"As the level of responsibility rises, so does the stress. Cricketers have a 14-15-year career span during which they are at their best for five to six years. Those years of Virat have passed, now he has to struggle.”
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On January 16, 2022, Anushka had paid tribute to her husband, Virat's decision of stepping down as the captain in test cricket. Sharing two pictures, the gorgeousness had recalled the day when Virat had revealed to her that he would be the next captain. She had written:
"I remember the day in 2014 when you told me that you have been made the captain as MS had decided to retire from test cricket. I remember MS, you & I having a chat later that day & him joking about how quickly your beard will start turning grey. We all had a good laugh about it."
Anushka had also revealed how she has seen Virat grow as a human being after becoming a captain. She had shared how naive they were to think that having good intentions could take them forward. She had added:
"Since that day, I’ve seen more than just your beard turning grey. I’ve seen growth. Immense growth. Around you & within you. And yes, I am very proud of your growth as the captain of the Indian National Cricket team & what achievements the team had under your leadership. But I’m more proud of the growth you achieved within you. In 2014 we were so young & naive. Thinking that just good intentions, positive drive & motives can take you ahead in life. They definitely do but, not without challenges. A lot of these challenges that you faced were not always on the field. But then, this is life right? It tests you in places where you least expect it to but where you need it the most. And my love, I am so proud of you for not letting anything come in the way of your good intentions. "
Anushka had concluded the note by sharing that their daughter would see the learning of these seven years in the father, Virat, is now to her. Anushka had also opened up on sitting beside Virat after some losses, which had made the cricketer wonder what he had done wrong. She had further written:
"You led by example & gave winning on field every ounce of your energy to the extent that after some losses I’ve sat next to you with tears in your eyes, while you wondered if there's still something more you could have done. This is who you are & this is what you expected from everyone. You've been unconventional & straightforward. Pretence is your foe & this is what makes you great in my eyes & the eyes of your admirers. Because underneath all this were your pure, unadulterated intentions always."
Earlier, in September 2021, Virat Kohli had announced that he was stepping down from the captaincy position after T20 World Cup in Dubai.
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