Can Indian Men Please Take a Cue from Virat Kohli’s Decision to Take Paternity Leave?

Social Commentary

Can Indian Men Please Take a Cue from Virat Kohli’s Decision to Take Paternity Leave?

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

The IPL is over and all cricket fans are looking forward to the upcoming India versus Australia series. However, captain Virat Kohli will not be present throughout the tournament. The soon-to-be father has applied for paternity leave, which was granted by the BCCI and Kohli will skip the last three Test matches of the Border Gavaskar trophy to be with his wife Anushka Sharma.

“Mr Virat Kohli had informed the BCCI about his plans to return to India after the first Test in Adelaide. The BCCI has granted paternity leave to the Indian captain. He will return after the first Test against Australia in Adelaide,” the BCCI press release read.

A section of cricket fans on social media were quick to question his “commitment” for the team. Kohli was criticised for choosing family over “national duty” and comparisons were made with former skipper MS Dhoni, who chose not to take paternity leave when daughter Ziva was born during the 2015 World Cup.

However, many also lauded the captain for taking the decision. Commentator Harsha Bhogle appreciated the fact that there is “more to life than just his profession”.

Social media users pointed out that personal choices must be respected. Why must that not apply to the Indian captain?

Cricket writer Sarah Waris pointed out that it is common practice for cricketers to take paternity leaves and that Kohli should not be demonised for it.

As one user pointed out, Kohli’s decision to skip an important series in cricket will set a great example for Indian men. If Virat Kohli can do it, so can you.

Cheers to King Kohli, a role model both on, and off the pitch.