Virat Kohli.
Virat Kohli. Image Credit: X

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One of the superstars of Indian cricket to be loved the most in Pakistan is Virat Kohli. With the next ICC Champions Trophy 2024 stated to be in the neighboring country, the speculations have already started to grow whether Virat Kohli or even India will be part of the tournament, especially with the history of political relationship between the two sides.

Whenever it comes to taking charge for India in the ICC Trophies against Pakistan, Kohli has stood up on almost every single occasion. The star batter put up a gorgeous knock of unbeaten 82 runs in 63 balls in the last ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Melbourne to carry India over the line with four wickets in hand.

Through social media posts and in various functions, many fans of Pakistan have shown their love and affection towards Virat Kohli, and look forward to seeing him score runs in their own backyard.

‘I welcome Virat Kohli to the PSL or with India’- Shahid Afridi

In a recent event, the former Pakistan captain and a superb all-rounder of world cricket, Shahid Afridi hailed Kohli’s willingness to visit Pakistan in the near future.

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Afridi’s comments came after a video call of the former India captain went viral, where Virat Kohli reportedly expressed his wish to come to the neighboring country during a chat with Kashi.

‘Give my regards to your family and all our friends.’ A voice on the video call which claimed to be of Virat Kohli was heard saying. ‘Hopefully, we visit Pakistan soon; everyone’s started visiting now.’

The Pakistani mountaineer Kashif shared a video on his official Instagram handle where he got in touch with an Indian national in Nepal in 2022, who helped him make contact with Virat Kohli.

‘In 2022 I was in Nepal when a stranger, originally from India (ofc not gonna say his name so he doesn’t get in any trouble due to political reasons), praised my work.’ Kasif penned down on his Instagram while sharing the video. ‘He mentioned he had connections to the cricket team, so I jokingly expressed my desire to talk to Virat Kohli.’

‘To my surprise, he messaged Kohli on my behalf, and I had the opportunity to chat with him via video call.’ The famous mountaineer wrote in the same post. ‘As a Pakistani, I proudly acknowledge Kohli as the greatest batsman of this era.’

Now speaking on the video call of Kohli, Shahid Afridi said that whether in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) or with the Indian team, the whole country welcomes Virat Kohli, as he wasn’t surprised by this statement.

‘I expected such a statement from Virat. I welcome Virat, whether he comes to the PSL or with the Indian team.’ Shahid Afridi remarked while speaking to Cricket Pakistan during a tape ball event in Karachi on May 18, Saturday.

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Virat Kohli’s love affair with Pakistan

When it comes to the performance with the bat, Kohli has shown his different avatar against Pakistan in both the white-ball formats. In 16 One Day International (ODI) innings against them, Kohli has smashed 678 runs at an average of 52.2 and a strike rate of 100.3 with a couple of half-centuries and three fifties.

In the shortest format of the game, Kohli has belted Pakistan for 488 T20I runs in 10 innings at an average of 97.6 and a strike rate of 123.9 with five fifties.

Kohli playing in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) or for an Indian team would be possible only after so many political developments. It has been almost 16 years since India last played in Pakistan during the 2008 Asia Cup. If the Indian team returns to the country in the near future, it will be a huge boost for the passionate fans on both sides of the border.