Despite being a cricket icon with a massive following on social media, Virat Kohli remains relatively unknown in certain parts of the world. According to Statista, he ranks 13th in terms of Instagram followers, boasting a count of 265 million. While football superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo (616 million followers) and Lionel Messi (496 million followers) dominate the global list, Kohli proudly holds the title of the most followed Indian celebrity on the platform.
Nevertheless, there are still corners of the world where Virat Kohli’s recognition is not universal. In a recent conversation with YouTuber Darren Jason Watkins Jr, known as Speed, Brazilian football legend Ronaldo was asked for his thoughts on Kohli, highlighting that not everyone is familiar with the Indian cricket talisman.
Watch the video here:
Here’s how that conversation went:
Speed: “Do you know Virat Kohli?”
Speed: “Virat Kohli, from India.”
Speed: “You don’t know Virat Kohli!”
Ronaldo: “What is he? A player?”
Speed: “He is a cricket player.”
Ronaldo: “He is not very popular in here.”
Speed: “Yeah, yeah. He is like the best. He’s better than Babar Azam. You have never seen this dude?” (pointing to Kohli’s photo)
Ronaldo: “Yeah, of course I have seen him.”
The BCCI on Monday invited applications to replace one among the five senior national selectors and in all likelihood, former pacer Salil Ankola would be the one on his way out as West Zone is already represented by chairman Ajit Agarkar. (Sachin Tendulkar’s Deepfake Row: Union IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar Breaks Silence On Controversy)
The BCCI posted an advertisement on its website listing the same requirements that have been in place for the past couple of years — the incumbent should have played either 7 Tests or 30 first-class matches. Applications will also be considered if the candidate has an experience of 10 ODIs or 20 first-class matches.
The last date of submitting applications is January 25. The five-man selection committee comprises Agarkar (chairman, Mumbai, West Zone), S Sharath (Tamil Nadu, South Zone), SS Das (Vidarbha, Central Zone), Subroto Banerjee (Bengal, Bihar, East Zone) and Ankola (Mumbai, Maharashtra, West Zone).
“Save Ajit Agarkar, all the four others completed their one-year term on December 31, 2023. They were given one-year contract,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity. (MS Dhoni Invited For Ram Temple ‘Pran Pratistha’ Ceremony In Ayodhya)
“Technically, there is no rule that you can’t have two selectors from the same zone, (but) the BCCI has always maintained the convention of having one selector from each zone and north zone had no representative after Chetan Sharma got sacked,” he explained.
After the 2022 T20 World Cup where India could only make the semifinals, the entire selection panel, including chairman Chetan Sharma, was sacked. But when fresh applications were invited, Chetan returned to the fold to represent North Zone following an interview by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) headed by Ashok Malhotra along with Jatin Paranjpe, and Sulakshana Naik. He was later sacked for loose talk on selection matters in a sting operation.
“The rest (of the) four, Sharath, Ankola, Banerjee and Das completed five zones. Once Chetan was removed, the BCCI needed a man of stature and once Agarkar was on board, we had two from the same zone. But no rule was broken as it was always a convention. The BCCI had given all of them a one year term, which is extended every year upto a period of four years. Unfortunately, it seems Salil will have to make a move,” the source added.
No date has been set for the interviews but it is expected that new selector will only join during the IPL as there won’t be any selection meeting after the team for the next three Tests is decided. Ankola was recently in South Africa for the India A series and stayed back for India’s two Tests against the senior team.