February 23, 2024

Voicing his support for Indian star batter Virat Kohli amid the chatter around his absence from the Test series against England, South African pace great Dale Steyn said “family should come first and that should be the end of the story.” Virat Kohli has missed the first two Tests due to personal reasons and his comeback to the Indian team is expected to be delayed further as he is set to skip the third and fourth Tests too while remaining uncertain for the final match.

“I think family is your most important priority. I’m sorry, like, that’s it, you know. That’s the end of the story. Like right there,” Steyn remarked during the virtual interaction.

He added, “I’ve got three dogs, and if one dog got sick, and I was in the IPL, I’m jumping on the first plane out of there to come back to see my dog.” 

Addressing Kohli’s decision to prioritise his family, Steyn expressed, “So if Virat Kohli has decided to sit at home, I don’t see any problem with that at all.” 

He lauded Kohli’s contributions to Indian cricket, acknowledging his role as a World Cup winner and captain. “The man has been a servant for India for many, many, many years. He’s won World Cup. He’s captained. I don’t know what more the man can actually do to prove himself in the cricketing world.

“But I think, at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter about cricket. It really matters about why you play and who helped you get to where you were and how you are there.” Kohli withdrew three days from the start of the England series citing “personal reasons”. He had landed in Hyderabad the same morning to join the Indian squad, but flew out the same day.

Steyn added, “I think that the people behind you, the people behind the scenes, are what the public don’t see. So your wife, your partner, your mother, your mom, your brother, your sister, your father, your cousin, it doesn’t really matter; those people are the ones constantly picking you up and keeping you at where you are.”

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