Former India wicket-keeper batsman Syed Kirmani Friday said sledging in cricket is something which is not new and has been prevalent since the game’s inception. Kirmani’s remark came in the backdrop of veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah’s criticism of India captain Virat Kohli’s on-field behaviour during the ongoing Test series Down Under.
Kirmani said Kohli’s aggressive on-field behaviour is his natural instinct. “Naseeruddin Shah, and everybody else have their opinions. Everybody looks at things with different perspective. So, I have nothing to contradict with what Naseeruddin Shah has to say about Kohli. Look, there are natural instincts embedded in everybody. Those natural instincts in their blood cannot be changed,” he said.
“We never had the advantage of IT and third umpire, but we played cricket in gentlemen’s spirit. I am very proud of it. However, there was sledging in our time too. It will not die,” Kirmani added. Kirmani was replying to a question on Shah’s comments about Kohli on the sidelines of 100-year celebration of Bangalore United Cricket Club.
Shah, on December 18, had slammed Kohli by calling him the world’s “worst behaved batsman” in a tweet. The last sentence of Shah’s post was in reference to Kohli’s recent social media post, asking cricket fans to leave India, who admired foreign cricketers.
Kirmani also said introduction of fines by third umpires proves that the game is not played in gentleman’s spirit now. Kohli was caught embroiled in an ugly spat with his Australian counterpart Tim Paine during the ongoing series Don Under.