Melbourne, Nov 5 (PTI): A relaxed Virat Kohli celebrated his 34th birthday at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground with the Indian media and expressed a not-so-secret birthday wish — to cut an even bigger cake on November 13 night, after winning the T20 World Cup for India.
As he walked up the stairs of the MCG gallery, Kohli sported a smile, shook hands with everyone who wished him.
“Aapne kabhi sarvajanik tarikhe se apna janamdin manaya hai Virat? (Did you ever celebrate your birthday with the media Virat?” a senior journalist enquired.
“Aap logon ne pahle toh kabhi mujhe janamdin pe cake bheja bhi naahin (You people never sent me a cake on my birthdays),” he said with a beaming smile.
He was asked to give a speech and the wry smile was back.
“I am not answering any questions,” he said and on the media’s demand.
“It’s nice to cut a cake at the MCG. Preferably, I would have liked to cut one cake,” he smiled and you knew what he was talking about.
Next Sunday is the T20 World Cup final, and what Kohli would like to cut is a celebratory cake after winning the final for India.
India had just finished their net session and Kohli had a good half an hour batting session , facing the net bowlers along with Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal and Mohammed Siraj.
Ravichandran Ashwin had informed during his media interaction that the former captain did cut a cake in the dressing room.
“Yeah, we got a cake. Rishabh had it. Just before we came for practice, yes,” Ashwin had said in jest when asked about how the team is celebrating.
Credit to the Indian team’s media wing and the ICC that when a request was made if Kohli would come for a small celebration with the Indian media contingent, they readily agreed.
One of the travelling journalists got a cake and another senior scribe presented him with a special painting bought from Jaipur of a Rajasthani ‘King’. A King’s potrait for ‘King Kohli’.
“Bhai badi acchi cake hain, kisne laya hain (Brother, it’s a nice cake, who got it?” he enquired and thanked the reporter who had arranged it in quick time.
“Thank you, it’s very tasty.”
Someone requested for a group photo and he immediately agreed. The jostling to stand right next to the man of the hour and be relevant was there to be seen, as he patiently waited for the photo journalists to take pictures.
He gave autographs, thank you birthday messages on Youtube channels. Kohli looked happy and content. He is scoring runs, the team is winning and he is in a very happy space.
Recently, some real estate developers in Victorian suburb Rockbank, around 40-minute drive from the CBD (Central Business District), has got a street named after the Indian batting maestro — Kohli Crescent. There is another called Tendulkar Way.
The real estate company has used a clever marketing trick to lure buyers from the Indian and South Asian diaspora.
There are also roads named after Sir Garfield Sobers, Wasim Akram, Jacques Kallis in that locality, and it helps the promoters to sell the houses.
“It has got nothing to do with paying tribute. A cricket connect is the easiest way to sell the product. House No. 18 (Kohli’s jersey’s no) is owned by an Indian. Properties in this suburb are a hit among NRI Indian,” a Melbourne-based NRI told PTI.