Refund for those that have bought tickets to see him?” The comment was posted on the Surrey Cricket Club home page, where the club released a statement saying Virat Kohli will not be representing them this season.
It reflected the sense of expectation and disappointment in England. The India skipper’s visit was being eagerly awaited by the South London county and it could obviously result in some loss of revenue for the club. Surrey expressed their disappointment in as many words.
“It’s hugely disappointing that Virat won’t be joining Surrey for the month of June but we understand injuries happen and we have to respect the decision of the BCCImedical team to pull him from his stint with us,” Surrey Director of Cricket, Alec Stewart, said.
Kohli had been due to play for Surrey in six games in June, including three games in the County Championship (four-day matches). It is obvious that Kohli’s decision to skip the county stint has been taken after a lot of consultations and thought process.
Given the workaholic that Kohli is, further load on his body could have resulted in him missing the England series, the very purpose for which he was planning a stint with Surrey.
“(He had to skip the county stint) because he is not a top dog,” India coach Ravi Shastri told Mirror. “He is not a machine but a human being. It is not a case of putting rocket fuel up his backside and getting him on the park. Even a top dog can’t be given rocket fuel up his backside.”
The general impression in the Indian cricket establishment is that county cricket is highly demanding. In one month, he would have had up to 15 days of cricket.
Kohli, as reported by this paper yesterday, consulted a top Mumbai-based orthopaedic specialist on Wednesday afternoon and the doctor advised him that he should avoid going to Surrey. A slipped disc was supposed to be the reason.
But the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said the decision was taken due to a neck injury he suffered while playing an IPL game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 17. Kohli went on to play one more game after that, on May 19 against Rajasthan Royals, which proved to be the last of the season for his franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore. Had RCB qualified for the play-offs, Kohli would have had to play potentially three more games.
“This decision was taken following assessments by the BCCI Medical team, subsequent scans, and a specialist visit. The Team India captain will now undergo a period of rehabilitation under the supervision of the BCCI Medical team,” the BCCI said in a release on Thursday afternoon.
Rehab from June 15
Kohli will now begin training and subsequently undergo a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore from June 15. “The BCCI Medical Team is confident that Mr. Kohli will regain full fitness ahead of India’s upcoming tours to Ireland and England,” the BCCI statement noted.
Kohli has been playing cricket non-stop for quite some time and the burden of captaincy is putting extra stress on his body and mind. Kohli did complain about neck problem during the South Africa tour when he skipped aT20I in February.