Indian cricket superstar Virat Kohli has reacted angrily after footage was shared by a fan of his hotel room in Perth, Australia, where he is competing at the T20 World Cup.
The video, which was captioned ‘King Kohli’s Hotel Room’, appeared on social media and showed a man filming Kohli’s personal belongings as he made his way around the cricket icon’s suite at the Crown Perth hotel.
In an angry response, the 33-year-old Kohli – who is idolized by millions in his cricket-made homeland and beyond – said the video made him “paranoid” about his privacy.
“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 to his 221 million Instagram followers, sharing the video.
“But this video 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 OK with this kind of fanaticism and absolute invasion of privacy. Please respect people’s privacy and not treat them as a commodity for entertainment.”
The hotel in question later blamed a “contractor” and said it had taken steps to punish those behind the video.
“We unreservedly apologise to the guest involved and will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure this remains an isolated incident,” read a statement.
“We have zero tolerance for this behaviour, and it falls well below the standards we set for our team members and contractors.
“Crown took immediate steps to rectify the issue, including launching an investigation, standing down the individuals involved and removing them from the Crown account.
“The original video was also swiftly removed from the social media platform. We are also co-operating with the Indian Cricket team and the International Cricket Council to convey our apologies and will continue to work with them as we progress our investigation.”
Kohli is among his country’s biggest sports stars, and is a former captain of the Indian T20 and Test match teams.
The Indian team are next in action at the T20 World Cup against Bangladesh in Adelaide on Wednesday.
India have won two and lost one of their matches at thus far, producing a memorable win against staunch rivals Pakistan earlier in the tournament in which Kohli played what was described as one of the greatest-ever innings his country has ever seen.
The adulation for the cricket star extends far beyond his homeland and onto the Indian diaspora whenever the team travels to compete in Australia, England, and elsewhere.
Indian won the inaugural edition of the short-format T20 World Cup in 2007, but have not tasted success since then, finishing runners-up in 2014.
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