NEW DELHI: Expressing his backing for star batsman Virat Kohli amidst the discussions surrounding his non-participation in the Test series against England, fast-bowling great Dale Steyn said “family should come first and that should be the end of the story.”
Kohli’s absence from the first two Tests, attributed to personal reasons, is anticipated to extend further as he is likely to opt-out of the third and fourth Tests.
His participation in the final match remains uncertain.
“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 with the Indian media on the eve of the SA20 title clash in Cape Town.
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 praised Kohli for his contributions to Indian cricket, recognising his achievements 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.
“And if it means that the house is in jeopardy or something is wrong with them or something like that, then you go to them; that’s the most important thing.”
(With inputs from PTI)