India captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday emphasised how important Test cricket is for youngsters and said the longer version of the game needs to be the premier format. "I believe Test cricket is paramount for the game to sustain globally. I would urge youngsters to take up longer version of the game," Kohli said during the first ever Annual Conclave of Delhi & Districts Cricket Association. It was an evening to remember where the legends of Delhi Cricket came together for the inauguration of stands named after Bishan Singh Bedi and Mohinder Amarnath.
It was a poignant moment when Kohli recollected his days as an U-14 and U-16 cricketer with Bedi as his coach.
"I remember when I played U14 and U16s for Delhi, Bedi sir would make us train too much. Now that's become a part of my life," Kohli fondly recollected in presence of Delhi legends and Sharmila Tagore, wife of former India captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi.
"It's a huge honour to stand with all Delhi captains. I myself have been a Delhi captain," said Kohli.
Bedi on his part said: "I may not agree with some of his gestures on field but I have not seen someone more intense than Virat on field. I have never seen an Indian more intense than Virat. He will mellow down for sure but how much I have learnt watching Virat is unreal."
The straight talking Bedi as usual was forthright in his assessment about how cricketers nowadays use Ranji Trophy or Duleep Trophy as platform for IPL contract.
"To play for India, figures in first class cricket comes in handy. Ranji Trophy should be played for the sake of Ranji Trophy and Duleep for the sake of Duleep. I don't understand the name of these teams like Red, Blue and Green," Bedi said.
Amarnath, meanwhile, recollected glory days of Delhi cricket.
"It was Bishan whose leadership gave Delhi cricket the respect. He was not just a captain but a leader of men," Amarnath said.