‘Indian cricket’s image has taken a hit because of the IPL scandal’, says Virat Kohli

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Kohli is ashamed that three Indian cricketers were involved in the spot-fixing scandal

India vice-captain Virat Kohli believes “Indian cricket’s image has taken a hit because of the IPL [Indian Premier League] scandal”.

In an exclusive interview with NDTV, Kohli noted that Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan had single-handedly destroyed the integrity of Indian cricket.

“Indian cricket’s image has taken a hit because of the IPL scandal,” Kohli said. “[It’s] Very disheartening to hear that three Indian cricketers were involved in scandal.”

However, despite the IPL spot-fixing scandal, India went on to win the Champions Trophy in England in June, which Kohli saw as a “strong reply”.

“[The] Champions Trophy win was a reply to IPL scandal damaging Indian cricket’s image,” he said. “The way we played was a strong reply. (But) We don’t really talk about these things (controversies off the field) in the dressing room. Our focus is always on playing good cricket.”

Kohli also feels that he is “on the right track as a cricketer”.

“I have had many highs and lows in my cricketing journey,” he said. “(But) I believe I’m on the right track as a cricketer.”

Upon hearing the news about Sachin Tendulkar’s decision to retire after his 200th Test match, Kohli said: “Thinking of Sachin not playing for India anymore is a very scary thought. His retirement will be a very tough for the entire country. I don’t know what I will feel, I don’t know what the country will feel and I don’t know what he will feel. I may have tears in my eyes.”

The 24-year-old added that it was “weird” not having the opening duo of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir in the national team.

“(It is a) Weird feeling not to have Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir not playing for India,” he said.

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