When Virat Kohli got the Arjuna Award in 2013, I was there at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and he told me then next time I would be receiving Droancharya and he would be applauding from the audience. Rajkumar Sharma got the Dronacharya Award in 2016.
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Virat Kohli’s Cricket Coach Rajkumar Sharma answered the bell and found Vikas (Kohli’s elder brother) at the door. His brother’s arrival at his house so early in the day was cause for concern. Vikas stepped into the house, dialed a number and handed his cell phone to Raj Kumar. ‘Happy teacher’s Day Sir,’ said Virat, even as Vikas thrust something into Rajkumar’s palms — a bunch of keys. A gleaming Skoda Rapid was parked at the gate — a gift from Virat to his mentor. “It was not merely because he had gifted me the car. It was because of his emotional touch to the process of reminding me how much he treasured our association, and valued the role of a teacher in his life.”
I still remember the day when a 10-year-old Virat came to my coaching camp. Today as an Indian captain when he comes for a net session, I don’t find any difference. He is still the same old little Virat for me. Nothing has changed for him
Imran Khan and I have a fantastic relationship — he said when you fly and you see dark clouds, you find a way to fly higher. I remembered those words during that period. I trained hard.
He was a very shy boy of around 15. I was the senior most member of the team and the management thought it would be good for a newcomer to share the room with a senior player. Skipper Chandrakant Pandit told me to keep a watch on the young man.