Chris Gayle backs Virat Kohli, says Wankhede fans 'went too far'

The Caribbean showman says fans must support their own players and that Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli has already done much for the country.

Updated: April 29, 2013 13:59 IST
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Chris Gayle has said that while supporting home teams is a given, Wankhede fans "went too far" when they jeered Royal Challengers Bangalore's skipper Virat Kohli during a high-profile IPL match against Mumbai Indians last Saturday.

Fans booed Kohli after he appealed successfully for a run out against Mumbai Indians' Ambati Rayudu, whose bat went in the air due to a collision with Vinay Kumar.

Gayle has backed the 24-year-old saying that the reaction from the stands was unnecessary. "While you are always going to have to negotiate a partisan crowd when you are the 'away' team, I have to say that the fans who booed Virat in Mumbai went too far," he wrote in a column for a national newspaper.

Kohli had earlier lashed out at fans for their behavior towards him. "I don't know what is wrong with people in this venue. It feels a bit weird because at the end of the day you play for India and you don't come here to be hated," he had said.

Gayle agreed and said that Kohli deserved more respect. "He has done so much for his country and their behaviour towards him was totally unnecessary in my opinion. I totally understand getting behind your own team but it's important to support your own people too."

The West Indian felt that though such a culture is prevalent in soccer, cricket is better off without such instances. His advice is that players should just move forward after such occurrences. "We know it's going to keep happening as we move forward and we've just got to be strong-minded about it," said Gayle.

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