Is this the price true cricket fans must pay?
First, a tailor by the name of Umar Draz paid the price for being a Virat Kohli fan in Pakistan. Kohli smashed 90 not out in the first Twenty20 against Australia.
Overcome with joy, Draz hoisted the Indian flag. The police moved in and arrested Draz. He now faces 10 years in jail.
Draz however did explain to reporters: "I am a big fan of Virat Kohli. I support the Indian team because of Kohli. Hoisting of Indian flag on the rooftop of house only shows my love for the Indian cricketer."
If that wasn’t enough, there was a candlelight vigil across Pakistan in support of both Umar Diaz and Virat Kohli during the second T20 match against Australia. Fans carried the Indian flag along with larger than life cut outs of Virat Kohli playing his favourite cut short.
Virat Kohli went on to smash 59 off just 33 balls with seven 4s and two 6s in the second match. His Pakistani fans couldn’t be happier. It is learnt that the jailed Umar Draz hoisted the Indian flag on the rooftop of the prison.
Before which he had already plastered his cell walls with Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma posters. How he got his hands on these posters no one knows. It is believed that the jail warden is a huge Virat Kohli fan and encouraged Draz.
Pakistan’s police force is being pushed to the limit arresting Virat Kohli fans across the nation. They have asked the army to shift Draz from the prison and put him under house arrest.
The army, on the other hand, wants the Inter-services Intelligence (ISI) to take over the case claiming that Draz is a Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agent posing as a cricket fan.
It is also being learnt that Pakistan is pushing India for secretary level talks to discuss what they call the "Virat Kohli problem" and how he is corrupting an entire generation of youngsters with his "obscene batting".
India, on the other hand, called it Pakistan’s internal problem, not wanting to interfere in it. So far Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif has not called his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi but with at least two India-Pakistan matches over the next few weeks, matters could get far worse.
There is still one T20 to be played on 31st January. Virat Kohli is yet to be dismissed in the series and has climbed the ICC rankings to become the world’s number two T20 International cricketer.
There is news of further demonstrations across Pakistan, this time an outcry against the ICC rankings. Saina, a 20-something passionate Virat Kohli fan had the last word when she snapped,
"Virat Kohli is number one batsman in the world, stupid ICC rankings don’t even know that." She was subsequently detained refusing to let go of the Indian tri colour.
(However plausible this might sound, this is largely a work of fiction.)
First published here