DELHI: On the occasion of 73rd Republic Day on Wednesday, the President’s Bodyguard Commandant’s black horse – Virat – retired after rendering years-long service. His prodigious abilities and exceptional services drew tongue-in-cheek comparisons with former Indian captain Virat Kohli who had recently stepped down from the captaincy.
One of the Twitter users cheekily tweeted: “Thanks Virat for your services! Hope they have Rohit horse ready for replacement.” The ‘Rohit’ reference is used to denote that Rohit Sharma has replaced Virat as a captain in the One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and T20Is.
Thanks Virat for your services! Hope they have Rohit horse ready for replacement.. https://t.co/xgbe6F6t2A
— Keh Ke Peheno (@coolfunnytshirt) January 26, 2022
Taking a swipe at Virat Kohli’s underwleming batting form from the last two years, another user remarked, “If life makes you #Virat, retire with grace like #Virat the horse!”
— Bharat 🇮🇳🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@Vishnugupt__) January 26, 2022
On the subject of Virat’s form, another tweet read: “Virat deserved this. This is the kind of respect you get when you gracefully retire.”
“Virat” deserved this.👍🏻
This is the kind of respect you get when you gracefully retire. https://t.co/nORsLvx4MS
— Ravi Sinha (@ravisinha_86) January 26, 2022
Of late, Virat has been in the eye of the storm over a plethora of issues – from locking horns with the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly over his removal as the ODI captain and his patchy form to his stand on a couple of social issues. Hinting at this, a person tweeted: “For a change a different Virat will trend today.”
For a change a different Virat will trend today.
🐎 Virat currently in the President’s bodyguard fleet, received Chief of the Army Staff Commendation for exemplary service. Will retire after 13 years of service.pic.twitter.com/i0ECPpHVFH
— Omkar🇮🇳 (@omgs_tweets) January 26, 2022
At a time when Virat, the cricketer, is facing the ire; Virat, the steed, has floored everyone. President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh bade farewell to the horse, who has attended 13 Republic Day parades. Virat received effusive cheers and applause from dignitaries as PM Modi patted him.
Known for his supreme agility, calm and finesse, Virat had become the first horse to be awarded the Chief of the Army Staff Commendation on the eve of Army Day on January 15. The Hanoverian breed horse was inducted in the President’s Bodyguard unit in 2003, and is also called the President’s Bodyguard’s “charger”.