T20 Diary: Virat Kohli a great, says Wesley Hall; must play on for India

Team India superstars looked humbled as the West Indies legend gifted them copies of his book in Barbados

Virat Kohli grins as Wesley Hall shows off his book (photo: @mufaddal_vohra/X)
Virat Kohli grins as Wesley Hall shows off his book (photo: @mufaddal_vohra/X)

Gautam Bhattacharyya

One perk of visiting the West Indies, for cricketers as well as members of the media, is the opportunity to catch up with some of the legendary figures of the game.

It was no different for Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid as members of the Indian team caught up with special guest Wesley Hall, the pace bowling giant, during nets at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados on Tuesday, 18 June.

Now 86, the former Barbadian legend and politician gifted the trio copies of his autobiography Answering to the Call — and offered them words of encouragement as both Kohli and Sharma looked humbled.

It was at the same venue that Sir Garfield Sobers, who has a pavilion named after him, was introduced to them, during India’s tour of the Caribbean a year back.

Kohli was clearly chuffed and grateful when Hall — who was half of a lethal new ball pairing with Charlie Griffith in the 1960s — lavished praise on him, calling him a great player and hoping that he would continue to play for India a good long while.

‘’I have seen a lot of great players and you are one of them. I have followed your career and I hope you play for India for many more years,’’ said Hall, who once served as sports minister of Barbados.

‘’Thank you for coming because you come to practice and there you have to go and see an old man,’’ the Windies icon said Kohli, getting the response: “Not at all... pleasure.”

Holding court on how the game has changed over the years and the influence of franchise cricket, Hall seemed well aware of the emergence of Jasprit Bumrah and a new generation of fast bowlers in India. ‘

’Earlier you had only Kapil Dev, now you have so many,’’ he remarked.

India will play Afghanistan in their first Super 8 game of the T20 World Cup in Barbados on Thursday, 20 June.

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