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Virat Kohli’s paternity leave: Dilip Doshi says ‘national duty’ should come before anything else

Virat Kohli's decision to leave the Australia tour after the first Test has been criticized by former Indian cricketer Dilip Doshi, who said he would have put national duty above everything else.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: December 24, 2020 8:10:40 am
Virat Kohli (74 and 4) was the highest scorer for India in the 1st Test. (BCCI)

Virat Kohli’s decision to leave the Australia tour after the first Test to be present for the birth of his first child had been praised by Australia’s Steve Smith, but not everybody has approved of the move. Former India cricketer Dilip Doshi said Kohli is “deserting a sinking ship” and that he himself would not have gone because “national duty” should come before anything else.

“To me, captaining India would be the prime-most thing on my mind. It’s a sinking ship. This is the time when they need their captain the most. If you leave at this time, you are leaving the side to your deputy with a lot of questions unanswered. I only hope and pray that the team shows enough character to come out of this,” Doshi said on a Facebook Live session on Sportskeeda.

The left arm-spinner, a veteran of 33 Tests and 15 ODIs for India, said it is not possible for cricket boards to have rules which prevent such leaves but that it is up to each individual to decide about their course of action. Doshi said he himself would never have left the tour if faced with such a decision.

READ | Different rules for Ashwin, Nataraj within Indian team, claims Gavaskar

“I know this is a modern phenomenon that people believe that they ought to be by the side of their family and spouses when they deliver a child. But when you are on a national duty… If I put myself in his shoes, I wouldn’t have gone. For me, national duty comes before everything else,” he said.

“This is a highly individual and institutional approach. Legally, you cannot stop somebody doing that. The cricket board cannot have a rule saying the players cannot go and be on the side of their spouses for such an occasion. Personally, I wouldn’t have gone,” he added.

Australian batsman Steve Smith had said recently: “I have said it before, I will say it again credit to him for being able to stand up and say he wants to go home and be with his wife. It’s a milestone he certainly wouldn’t want to miss and I am sure there would have been a lot of pressure on him to stay, but credit for him to make the decision.”

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