Mumbai: Virat Kohli warming his hands in fire. The iconic photograph was clicked by Sri Lankan born Asanka Brendon Ratnayake(now based in Australia), which earned him the MCC’s runner-up award. The photo was clicked during a T20 match between Australia and India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in January last year.
The joint second winner gets a prize of £1,000 and his photograph will appear in the latest edition of Wisden 2017 (Virat Kohli on cover page) and it will be displayed at the Lord’s, where visitors will view all year round.
“The fire was from a fire machine which was placed at the entrance of the players tunnels as they entered the ground. I did not meet Kohli, I have crossed paths with him quite a bit over the past few years but I have never wanted to get in his way, However I do know he has seen the image as he had posted it on his Instagram page the day after I took it,” a jubilant Ratnayake said.
“I have not met him personally but if the opportunity arrives to see him. I probably would just let him know that I was the person that took that photo of him. I think he would appreciate the photo as it is a different photo of him. A lot of photos of him are quite serious and this one is not. I have a lot of respect for him as a player and the way he represents a ‘new India’ that doesn’t let anyone push them around. He is a very serious character, however, this image shows a bit more of a humorous side of Kohli.”
Asanka has never been to Mecca of Cricket at Lord’s. “I haven’t been to Lord’s but I am hoping I can fit in a few meeting later in the year in London and if I can do that I will visit Lord’s most definitely.”
The joint second winner also reacted on the winning photograph. “It’s a beautiful photograph, there is a renaissance art feel to it. I am actually happy that a photo taken outside of the professional realm of cricket won. I prefer seeing photos of cricket being played in different environments all over the world,” he signed off.