Harshit Rana on whether he'll sledge Virat Kohli with flying-kiss celebration: 'People dared me to do it against RCB' | Crickit

Harshit Rana on whether he'll sledge Virat Kohli with flying-kiss celebration: 'People dared me to do it against RCB'

Jun 17, 2024 03:12 PM IST

Harshit Rana answered the million-dollar question: Will he or not unleash the flying-kiss celebration against Virat Kohli?

Every year, the IPL helps Indian cricket unearth some of its most promising talents, and this year, Harshit Rana was one of them. The Kolkata Knight Riders pacer, bought for 20 lakh as a replacement for Rasikh Dar during IPL 2022, picked up 19 wickets in KKR's IPL winning campaign this year and finished the tournament as the fifth highest wicket-taker of the season.

Harshit Rana's (L) flying kiss made more news that his wickets tally in IPL 2024.(Screengrab/AFP)
Harshit Rana's (L) flying kiss made more news that his wickets tally in IPL 2024.(Screengrab/AFP)

However, more than his wickets tally, Harshit was in the news for his unexpected flying-kiss celebration against Sunrisers Hyderabad, which eventually landed him in trouble. During KKR's game against SRH, Rana dismissed Mayank Agarwal and dished out a flying kiss. He paid the price for it – 60 percent of his match fee and refrained from doing it. But while he had to endure certain repercussions because of it, Rana reveals that while none of it was predetermined and that there was no ill intended to anyone through the celebration.

"I didn't deliberately do it – the flying kiss. When I took the wicket of Mayank bhaiya… actually when he hit the ball in the air, I got close to him during my follow-through. It happened instinctively and it came out. The cameraman focussed on it well. I met him [Mayank] again in the final and told him there was no malice. He understood. He and I have had this equation. I had a bit of it [banter] during the Duleep Trophy match as well," the KKR pacer told Shubhankar Mishra on his podcast.

"A lot has changed since the flying kiss. When people come up to me, that's the first thing they ask. Feels nice to know that people remember me for it. When people relate it to me.

Afterwards, Rana sought comfort from team owner Shah Rukh Khan, who then told him not to worry and to reserve it for after the IPL. As it turned out, KKR won the title for a third time, after which SRK lived up to his promise.

Harshit Rana's flying kiss reached the Mumbai Indians dugout

Rana's flying kiss spread like wildfire, reaching the Mumbai Indians dressing room, evident when Rohit Sharma recreated the celebration in front of Agarwal ahead of MI's game against SRH. Rana revealed that he discussed his celebration with the former MI captain as well and got a pretty encouraging response.

"I had a word with Rohit bhaiya during the MI game. He said 'if you're enjoying it, keep doing it. No problem there."

Getting fined wasn't the only punishment the BCCI dished out to Rana. The KKR pacer was later slapped with a one-match ban in his second offence for breaching Level 1 of Code of Conduct. While the exact reason is not known, it could well have to do with his animated celebration after dismissing Abhishek Porel of Delhi Capitals. Rana would be a little subdued thereon but was challenged by certain fans to repeat his celebrations against Royal Challengers Bengaluru, which features a certain Virat Kohli.

Would he have done it?

"I am telling you. I didn't pre-determine that I'll go and do it in the first match. And even in the second game. People dared me to try and do it in the RCB match. But I didn't tease him [Kohli]. I have respect for him. I have respect for every player, but no, I wouldn't do it in front of him," said Rana.

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