With cricket being the undisputed top sport in India, the likes of football and other sports have struggled to gain a footing in the second most populous country in the world.
Such has been the travails of the ‘beautiful game’ in the country that India national football team skipper Sunil Chhetri had to issue an impromptu heartfelt plea for support to fans around the country before the start of the four-nation Intercontinental Cup in Mumbai.
This is nothing but a small plea from me to you. Take out a little time and give me a listen. pic.twitter.com/fcOA3qPH8i— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) June 2, 2018
That plea quickly became viral with multiple celebrities and sportpersons in the country supporting Chhetri’s plea. The cricket fraternity was not far behind with India skipper and superstar Virat Kohli lending their voice to the issue.
Such was the impact of that plea and support from other celebrities that India’s league match against Kenya which followed soon after was completely sold out.
That trend continued in the remainder of the tournament and was on show on Sunday too when India beat Kenya by 2-0 in the finals to capture the trophy in front of a packed house at the Mumbai Football Arena.
Kohli, a self confessed football buff who is also the co-owner of Indian Super League (ISL) outfit FC Goa, took to Twitter to congratulate Chhetri and his team-mates for their stupendous effort.
“Champions!!!! Another stellar performance from our captain @chetrisunil11 and the entire team last night. This will surely provide a much needed boost for @IndianFootball. Keep up the spirit boys,” the 29-year-old wrote in his Twitter post on Monday.
Champions!!!! Another stellar performance from our captain @chetrisunil11 and the entire team last night. This will surely provide a much needed boost for @IndianFootball. Keep up the spirit boys. 👏🙌 #INDvKEN— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) June 11, 2018
With Kohli’s massive following in the cricket-crazy nation, his support for Indian football is highly valuable and endearing to see.
India batsman KL Rahul started things off by stating Kohli has “confirmed his theory” that the skipper is obsessed about his beard by getting it insured.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal joined the ‘debate’, tweeting: “Just heard Kohli got his beard insured. Always seen him protective about it, but didn’t expect this.”
Finally, Kohli joined the discussion surrounding his beard by joking that since all the talk surrounding his beard and its insurance has become entertaining, “it’s popcorn time”.
Virat Kohli‘s wax statue didn’t even make it through its unveiling at the Delhi studio of Madame Tussauds on Wednesday before being damaged.
According to reports, the right ear of Kohli’s statue was damaged when fans flocked to the attraction to take selfies, leading to the statue being removed and sent for repairs.
The lifelike statue shows Kohli in a batting stance and donning the Indian jersey. The skipper joins other famous athletes like Lionel Messi, Usain Bolt and Sachin Tendulkar to have a statue in Delhi’s wax museum.
“I sincerely appreciate the efforts and incredible work undergone in making my figure. Thanks to Madame Tussauds for choosing me for this lifetime experience. I am grateful to my fans for their love and support,” Kohli said in a statement issued by Madame Tussauds.
“This experience is going to be stored in the fond memories of my life… now waiting to see the fan reactions.”
The fan reaction was unsurprisingly crazy, so much so that the statue didn’t last a day before needing repairs.