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Virat Kohli’s Paternity Leave: Right or Wrong?

Virat Kohli’s Paternity Leave: Right or Wrong?
November 27
10:45 2020

After the IPL extravaganza, cricket fans are gearing up to watch India face Australia. In the almost 2 month-long tour, India will be playing 3 ODI’s, 3 T20’s and then the Border Gavaskar trophy, which has become one of the most awaited test fixtures for fans. The betting odds on 1xbet are already out for the first ODI starting on 27th November.

In the run-up to the tour has come news that has taken Indian fans by surprise. Virat Kohli has opted to take paternity leave to be present at the birth of his first child in January next year. This means that he will be playing only the first test match, and will miss the Boxing day test, the New Year’s test, and the final test of the series.

The decision has sparked a frenzied debate among fans regarding the decision. While some have expressed disappointment over Kohli leaving the team in the middle of such a prestigious event, a majority of the fans have supported it. Some former and current cricketers too have expressed their support for his decision.

Like Kohli’s most on-field decisions have been compared with his predecessor, even this personal decision has drawn comparisons with MS Dhoni. Back in February 2015, when Sakshi Dhoni gave birth to their first child Ziva, MSD was in Australia preparing for the upcoming World Cup. Dhoni won a million hearts with his decision to stay back and attend the national duties. It is said that Dhoni was so busy preparing that Sakshi had to contact Suresh Raina to inform him about their daughter’s birth.

Kohli has always had his way and style of doing things. Nobody can question his commitment to the team and the game. The fact that in spite of receiving the news of his father’s demise back in 2006, 18-year-old Kohli took to the field scoring a gritty 90 runs and saved Delhi from a certain follow-on speaks volumes about his passion for the game.

Times have changed since then, and young Indians are vying to strike a good work-life balance in their lives. Women have been granted maternity leaves for obvious reasons, and in 2017, the parliament passed a Paternity Benefit Bill which allows a 15 day leave for all individuals. This bill was passed in recognition that child care is a joint responsibility of both the parents and equal time must be devoted by both to ensure the well-being of a newborn child.

While work is important, spending quality time with family and loved ones is equally important. Especially at an occasion like childbirth, which is a once in a lifetime occasion. Private moments for high profile couples like Virat and Anushka are few and far apart, as they are constantly under the spotlight of media and fans. This makes such moments even more important in their lives. Because although they lead a public life, they too have a right to privacy, and the right to make personal choices.

Fans who question Kohli’s decision to be with his wife during the birth of their child suffer from a form of toxic masculinity and enjoy derision in thinking that childbirth is a `woman’s job´. While it is definitely the fans and the game who have made Kohli the superstar that he is, we must not forget the sacrifices it takes to achieve such heights.

Jam-packed schedules have cricketers jet setting across the globe, jumping continents, and playing games in foreign lands. While it all seems glitzy and glamorous, it is easy to forget the toll it takes on their family and personal lives. It is no harm then that Kohli takes a few weeks off to be with his wife and the newborn. After all, he may be a superhero on the field, but off the field, he too is a human.

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