The rivalry between Indian skipper Virat Kohli and Pakistani pacer Mohammad Amir has oftentimes been compared to that of Sachin Tendulkar and Shoaib Akhtar. Despite their on-field friction, the two players have always maintained respect for each other.
On Wednesday, Virat Kohli was awarded the 2019 ‘Spirit of Cricket’ award by ICC to recognise his display of sportsmanship during the World Cup clash between India and Australia. During the match, a section of the Indian crowd was seen giving hostile reception to Australia's Steve Smith, and it was then that Kohli turned towards the crowd and asked them to cheer for the Australian instead.
After receiving the award, Kohli said, “I'm surprised that I have got it, after many years of being under the scanner for the wrong things.”
ICC had shared the video of Virat Kohli speaking about the incident and the importance of playing cricket in the right way.
Mohammad Amir reacted to ICC’s video and wrote, “Great words from great player.”
Great words from great player— Mohammad Amir (@iamamirofficial) January 15, 2020
Amir has never shied away from praising the Indian captain. Talking to Wisden India in 2017, he said, “The world knows Kohli is the best. You have to give your best against him. If you give him a chance he takes away the game as he did in the Dhaka Asia Cup game. So I have to focus and do my best to target him. He has the best strike rate and average while chasing so he is also the biggest challenge for bowlers around the world.”
Previously, Kohli had lauded Amir, stating that Amir is one of the best bowlers he has ever faced. In a television chat with Aamir Khan, Kohli said, “I would like to compliment Mohammad Amir for the way he bowled. I actually congratulated him while he was bowling. I was so happy to play such an amazing spell. He is a world-class bowler.”