India skipper Virat Kohli is among the most popular sporting icons worldwide. The swashbuckling Indian batsman is also the only cricketer to feature in Forbes’ list of the top 100 highest-paid athletes in the world for the year 2020.
However, Virat Kohli says he is not too fond of the attention that comes along with the role he plays in the Indian cricket.
Kohli said, if asked, he would give away his fame without a second thought to lead a normal life.
Virat Kohli was having this conversation with India off-spinner R Ashwin for the final episode of ‘Reminisce with Ash’.
“To be honest, I love the sport. I know you are fanatic as well. I love the opportunity to do something that can inspire people. Playing for your country is the biggest honour for any sportsperson,” Kohli told Ashwin.
“Having said that, if someone told me would you like to give all your fame, I would give it just like that. Because over a period of time you realise that, you are doing what is important, but you also need to be a normal person at the end of the day,” he said.
“When you speak of previous times, people had a lot more freedom to move around. There weren’t camera phones in your face all the time, scanning everything you are doing minute to minute everyday. I think both Anushka (Sharma) and myself are very comfortable being in our space at our homes doing normal things. Fame, too much attention, too much intrusion and interest into what we are doing all the time, that I don’t relate to.”
“I think a part of it is that these things were not part of our lives growing up. We did not grow up with social media constantly in our lives so if we want to do it, we can easily get off social media if we like. Which might be very difficult for people who are growing up today. It’s a different time in our lives and yes, I would say just take it all away from me.”
In the recently announced Forbes’ list of the top 100 highest-paid athletes in the world for the year 2020, Kohli is ranked at number 66 with estimated earnings of $26 million, as he made a jump of over 30 places from 2019.
According to the magazine, Kohli earned a whopping $24 million from his endorsements, while just $2 million of the total estimate came from his salary and winnings.