India captain Virat Kohli has tied the knot with his partner and Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma. The marriage took place in Italy, attended by family and close friends of Kohli and Sharma.
Kohli, who climbed to No. 2 among batsmen in the Test rankings, had asked for time off from the ongoing ODI series and the subsequent T20s against Sri Lanka at home. He had also been emphasising publicly on the rest his body needed having played non-stop cricket since the start of India’s home season in 2016. Known for his relentless attitude towards fitness, Kohli urged the BCCI and the selectors in public to give him a break. “I am no robot,” Kohli had said at the outset of home Test series against Sri Lanka in November.
Eventually, the selectors decided to rest Kohli for the limited-overs leg of the Sri Lanka series. Kohli will return to lead India for the South Africa tour which starts with the first Test from January 5 in Cape Town.
It is not the first instance of an Indian cricketer marrying a Bollywood celebrity. Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi married Sharmila Tagore when he was the India Test captain in the late 1960s.
Sharma has travelled with Kohli on tours, especially overseas. In an interview with the Cricket Monthly in 2015, Kohli said she gave him much-needed emotional support away from cricket.
“I can be myself around her,” Kohli said then. “Again, these are things that people do not understand, do not look into. What you do away from the cricket field matters more than what you do during the game. During the game you are absolutely focused on the game. You are just following or reacting to a ball, playing your shots, building a partnership, playing to a situation. But off the field you could be thinking too much about the game, you could be thinking about one particular bowler, you could be thinking about victory or loss. You need to switch off. You need to get away from it. And that is the best way to do it – when you have someone who can give you that emotional support.”