But sometimes fans in their overzealousness can cross certain lines. And that is exactly what seems to have happened in Perth at the team hotel where the Indian team was staying during their preparatory phase for the T20 World Cup.
On Monday (October 31), Virat revealed a blatant breach of his privacy via a video clip on his Instagram page. Reports suggest that the video was originally uploaded on Tik Tok by an unidentified user with a caption that read – ‘King Kohli’s hotel room’. The video shows the inside of Virat’s hotel room and all his personal belongings. While Virat hasn’t revealed when this breach took place exactly, certain reports claim that it was right after the Indian team had reached Australia.
The video shows the person filming it blatantly walking through Virat’s room and opening doors and cupboards. It has left everyone shell-shocked.
The hotel in question, in a statement has said that “The individuals involved have been stood down and removed from the Crown account”.
A number of questions therefore crop up here – 1. Were only hotel staff members involved in this? 2. What kind of precautions do hotels usually take to ensure that their staff don’t indulge in such activities? 3. What steps did the Team India security officers take after learning about this? 4. Going ahead what can be done to ensure such things don’t happen?
Virat Kohli fan films his hotel room in Perth; hotel sacks employee after cricketer flags privacy violation
What one must also not forget here is that this is not just a breach of privacy, it is also a serious security hazard.
Virat understandably is not happy. Why he waited to reveal this is another question, but what shouldn’t be forgotten here is that an individual’s privacy, regardless of whether he or she is a celebrity or not, is something that is sacrosanct and cannot under any circumstance be breached.
Indian cricketers have possibly the heaviest security cover among all international cricketers. Team hotels and floors on which Indian cricketers are staying are usually off limits for the public. When the team is on tour though things can be different. Though there is still no absolute clarity on this, it seems to be an instance of hotel staff potentially using their access cards to enter Virat’s room and film.
Virat, while revealing this incident has said – “I understand that fans get very happy and excited seeing their favourite players and get excited to meet them and I’ve always appreciated that,” Kohli wrote in his post on Instagram. “But this video here is appalling and it’s made me feel very paranoid about my privacy. If I cannot have privacy in my own hotel room, then where can I really expect any personal space at all?? I’m NOT okay with this kind of fanaticism and absolute invasion of privacy. Please respect people’s privacy and not treat them as a commodity for entertainment.”
Kohli’s wife and Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma, expectedly, lashed out at people who disrespect people’s privacy.
“Have experienced few incidents, where fans have shown no compassion or grace in the past but this really is the worst thing. An absolute disgrace and violation of a human being and anyone who sees this and thinks ‘celebrity ho! Toh deal karna padega should know that you are also part of the problem’,” fumed Anushka in her Instagram story.
“Exercising some self control helps everyone. Also, if this is happening in your bedroom then where is the line,” she wrote.
Virat’s brother Vikas Kohli revealed the name of the hotel while replying on Virat’s Instagram post, by tagging them. The hotel in question is the Crown Towers, in Perth.
ESPNCricinfo reports that the hotel have issued an apology statement, saying, – “We unreservedly apologise to the guest involved and will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure this remains an isolated incident. Crown has taken immediate steps to rectify the issue. The individuals involved have been stood down and removed from the Crown account, and the original video was swiftly removed from the social media platform….Crown is conducting an investigation with the third-party contractor and will take any further steps necessary to ensure an incident of this nature does not happen again. We are also cooperating with the Indian Cricket team and the International Cricket Council to convey our apologies and will continue to work with them as we progress the investigation.”
Understandably, other cricketers are also up in arms about this issue. Australian cricketer David Warner said – “This is ridiculous, totally unacceptable.”
ESPNCricinfo also quoted the International Cricket Council (ICC) saying – “It was ‘incredibly disappointed by the gross invasion of privacy’ that Kohli had suffered.”
“We continue to work with event hotels and security providers to ensure that this remains an isolated incident and player privacy is fully respected at all times,” added ICC.