Bangladesh batsman Imrul Kayes revealed how Virat Kohli stopped sledging him after the now-Indian skipper was confronted and sledged back by veteran Tamim Iqbal. Kayes revealed that he was surprised with Kohli sledging him, given the duo had spent time together in a U19 coaching camp in Australia.
An aggressive top-order batsman who, on his day, can be a force to be reckoned with, Imrul Kayes was highly rated since his teenage days and went on to make his international debut at just the age of 21. A year before his national debut, Kayes, as revealed by himself, moved to Australia after getting a scholarship and incidentally, there, met up with Virat Kohli amongst other Indian U19 players, as the young Blue colts had visited the Oceanic country for a camp post their successful U19 World Cup triumph in 2008.
It was there when the left-hander spent quality time practising together with Kohli, but in a chat with Cricfrenzy, the 33-year-old revealed how to his surprise, Kohli went on to sledge him in their first-ever meeting in national colours, in 2011. Kayes then stated that he’d complained about the sledging to Tamim Iqbal and revealed that Kohli never sledged him again after the Indian skipper was confronted and verbally punched back by Tamim.
‘’In 2007, I received an scholarship and moved to Australia and got a chance to practice with a team there. Four or five of Indian players along with Virat Kohli was there also. They went there after winning the Under-19 World Cup. We practiced there for about a month,’’ Kayes told Cricfrenzy.
‘’When I joined the national team my first game with him was in 2011. He was sledging me in the first game. I was surprised at that time. We spent a month together and he came to the field and started to sledge me. I didn't say anything. I told Tamim. Later Tamim sledged him so bad. Later Virat stopped. You know, Tamim can do these very well, he is very aggressive on the field. Since then, Virat Kohli has not treated me badly ever.”
Elaborating further on Kohli’s aggressive conduct on the field, the southpaw revealed that the Delhite abused every single Bangladesh player - barring Kayes himself - during the Fatullah Test in 2015 and also during the Tigers’ tour of India last year.
‘’In the Fatullah Test he[ Kohli] has sledged almost everyone but he didn't say a word to me. Also, the last time when we went to play a Test series in India, he used abusive language to more or less everyone but didn't say a word to me.”
However, Kayes expressed his admiration for Kohli the cricketer and the human and went on to describe the Indian as a ‘legend’ and added that the latter still comes up to him and chats with him, after all these years.
‘’He is at his level. He's a legend player, we don't have the match with him. One thing I feel good about him that being such a great player he still remembers me. He comes and speaks on his own.”