A journalist with the Hindustan Times, a leading Indian newspaper, has formally complained to the ICC that Virat Kohli verbally abused him without provocation during India's training session at Murdoch University in Perth on Tuesday. Hindustan Times has also filed a complaint with the BCCI over the incident. Indian officials, while conceding that an incident did take place, have denied that there was any abuse involved, and said it was a case of mistaken identity.
Narrating the incident in a write-up for his paper, the journalist - Jasvinder Sidhu - said that Kohli, standing beside the team dugout, looked agitated and continuously pointed his finger towards him as he watched the nets. Then, as Kohli walked back to the dressing room, he stared at him all the while and Sidhu said he could clearly hear the batsman abusing in Hindi.
Ten minutes later, Sidhu wrote, Kohli emerged from the dressing room and waved and smiled at him, leaving him nonplussed. Kohli then relayed an apology through another journalist, who was told by Kohli that it was a case of mistaken identity.
The report was published in Wednesday's edition of the paper and Sidhu followed it up later that day with a formal complaint to ICC chief executive David Richardson.
The Indian team's media manager, RN Baba, denied that Kohli had abused Sidhu. "There was a misunderstanding and no abusive language was used," he said in an emailed statement. "Virat has spoken to the concerned gentleman immediately and [the] matter ends."
The incident also prompted a statement from Anurag Thakur, the newly elected BCCI secretary. "He (Kohli) has clarified on the issue," Thakur told PTI. "For India, the ongoing World Cup is very important. We need to put all these issues to rest and (he) indirectly has communicated that he misunderstood the situation. Let's put this matter to an end.
"In future I think these kind of incidents should be avoided and taken care of. I have not spoken to the players yet, the team management is there, taking care of all the players' needs."