A few New Zealand players opted to assist Virat Kohli while he was struggling with cramps, and Simon O’Donnell said he had a “problem” with that gesture.
The cricket world may be celebrating Virat Kohli’s monumental 50th ODI century, but former Australian pacer Simon O’Donnell is questioning New Zealand’s sportsmanship for aiding the batting maestro when he suffered cramps during the World Cup semifinal. Despite Kohli’s remarkable 113-ball 117 that propelled India to the World Cup final, O’Donnell criticized the Kiwi players who assisted the Indian star during his physical struggle.
Expressing his disapproval on Sen Radio, O’Donnell, who played 87 ODIs for Australia, remarked, “I had a problem a couple of times last night. Virat Kohli gets cramp, they’re (India) heading for 400 (runs), and (New Zealand) blokes go over and help him.”
“Why would you go and help Virat Kohli when he had a cramp? When they’re heading for 400. In a World Cup semifinal. Spirit of the game is playing within the laws. Virat Kohli is tearing your country apart, and you want to go over and give him a hand,” O’Donnell questioned.
Regarding the impact on the match’s outcome, O’Donnell emphasized that the Kiwi players should have refrained from assisting Kohli when he was cramping, regardless of the final result.
“Don’t care. Under no circumstances should you have gone within 20 meters of Virat Kohli when he had a cramp,” he stated.
He further pointed out an incident where a Kiwi player picked up Virat’s discarded bat, saying, “He (Virat) threw his bat away, and one of the Kiwis went and picked it up. ‘Go and pick your own bat up while you’ve got a sore hamstring and a cramp. Stop hitting us for sixes and fours’.”
O’Donnell defended competitiveness but questioned the logic of assisting Kohli in maintaining his physical condition to dominate the game. He concluded, “I don’t get it, I just don’t get it. Stuff helping him out; he’s made 50 One-Day hundreds. Why help him make the 50th against you in a World Cup semifinal? Give me a spell.”