Virat Kohli is an Indian international cricketer and the former captain of the Indian national cricket team who plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL and Delhi in domestic cricket.
Last Updated: October 27, 2023
Virat Kohli, with his remarkable journey from a budding cricket enthusiast to one of the world’s most renowned cricketers, stands as a testament to unwavering dedication and innate talent. Born on 5th November 1988 in Delhi into a Punjabi Hindu family, Kohli’s early life and cricketing aspirations were nurtured in the vibrant streets of Uttam Nagar.
His father, Prem Kohli, a criminal lawyer, and his mother, Saroj Kohli, a dedicated homemaker, provided the stable foundation for his growth. Virat Kohli grew up alongside an older brother, Vikas, and an older sister, Bhawna, in the heart of Delhi. Even in his earliest years, Virat displayed an exceptional affinity for cricket, a passion that would soon shape his destiny.
Virat’s cricketing journey took its initial steps at Vishal Bharti Public School, where he received his early education. It was here that his family noticed his prodigious talent for the sport. At just three years old, Virat would eagerly grab a cricket bat, showcasing innate skill, and request his father to bowl to him. This early fascination with the game would set the stage for an extraordinary career that awaited him.
In 1998, the West Delhi Cricket Academy (WCDA) was established, marking a pivotal moment in Virat’s life. On the 30th of May that year, Prem Kohli, Virat’s father, wholeheartedly embraced his son’s cricketing dreams. He facilitated a meeting between young Virat, then just nine years old, and Rajkumar Sharma, a coach who initially regarded Virat as yet another enthusiastic aspiring cricketer. However, within two weeks, Sharma was astounded by Virat’s precision and power in his throws.
Rajkumar Sharma’s initial impression was soon replaced by admiration for Virat’s remarkable abilities. This admiration led to a crucial decision – Virat Kohli was to be trained at a professional cricket academy. The decision was propelled not just by Virat’s skill but by the belief that he deserved more than gully cricket matches. It was clear that his talent surpassed the local level.
Virat’s father received tempting offers to move his son to influential cricket clubs, which would guarantee his selection in various teams. However, Prem Kohli turned down these offers. He was determined that Virat should earn recognition on merit alone and surmount the barriers of nepotism and favoritism that often marred selections in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). Virat’s resolve and tenacity eventually earned him a spot in the under-15 Delhi cricket team.
His journey continued with training at the West Delhi Cricket Academy while actively participating in matches at the Sumeet Dogra Academy in Vasundhara Enclave. Rajkumar Sharma, his coach, recollects those early days with fondness. Virat displayed exceptional talent, making it challenging for the coach to temper his enthusiasm. Virat was always ready to bat, often requiring physical persuasion to conclude training sessions.
In his pursuit of a cricketing career, Virat transitioned to Saviour Convent School during his ninth-grade education. His ardor for cricket led him to travel great distances with his father, ensuring that he never missed a match. Over time, he diligently honed his skills and expanded his range of shots, earning respect from local bowlers and spectators alike.
However, on 18th December 2006, Virat Kohli faced a profound personal loss. His father, Prem Kohli, succumbed to a cerebral attack. During Virat’s formative years, his father had been his steadfast support in cricket training, driving him to practice every day. Virat has acknowledged the pivotal role his father played in shaping his cricketing journey, both in terms of skill development and character.
The loss of his father marked a significant turning point in Virat’s life. Almost overnight, he matured and developed an unwavering determination to excel in cricket. He exhibited a deep aversion to being excluded from matches and devoted himself entirely to the sport. Virat channeled his grief and emotions into his cricket, dedicating his every moment to the pursuit of excellence.
Virat Kohli’s family resided in Meera Bagh, Paschim Vihar, until 2015 when they relocated to Gurgaon. This move symbolized the changing chapters of his life, both personally and professionally.
In essence, Virat Kohli’s journey from a cricket-loving child in Uttam Nagar to a cricketing legend on the global stage is a story of unwavering determination, family support, and an unmatched passion for the game. His name is etched in cricketing history as one of the greatest batsmen ever, a true icon of the sport.