The Board of Control for Cricket in India and its Committee of Administrators are divided over Indian captain Virat Kohli’s decision to play county cricket by skipping the historic Test against Afghanistan in Bengaluru, The Indian Express reported on Friday.
Afghanistan will play their first-ever Test in Bengaluru from June 14, but Kohli and a few other Indian cricketers have chosen to prepare for the England tour in July by travelling there in advance and playing county cricket.
“There will be a few seniors among Test specialists who will leave for UK in early June along with Rahul Dravid’s India A team. I can’t say how many – anything between two-to-four senior team players will be there from the start of the A tour,” CoA chief Vinod Rai had said earlier.
“A few will play the Afghanistan Test match and then leave for England. But yes, at least seven to eight players who are all Test team specialists will have to be in England in June,” Rai had added.
An unnamed BCCI official told The Indian Express that Kohli skipping a Test to play country cricket would set a bad precedent for Indian cricket.
“It would give a very bad message to the visiting Afghanistan team, that maybe the opponents aren’t worthy for us,” the official was quoted as saying in the report. The official also suggested that Kohli can fly from England for the Test and return after it ends. The official also questioned the India captain’s decision to play the Indian Premier League but not the Afghanistan Test.
Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO Shafiq Stanikzai on Thursday had said that his team would miss playing against Kohli.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma are playing for Yorkshire and Sussex respectively from the start of the county season.