It is IPL first for Virat Kohli? That is what it seems like, claims Brad Hodge

This claim could make anyone the biggest villain of the nation and why not—considering that we live in a cricket crazy nation

This claim could make anyone the biggest villain of the nation and why not—considering that we live in a cricket crazy nation, this is never out of the cards. For Sachin Tendulkar, it was always country over franchise cricket; for Chris Gayle, it was not—a notable difference. But again, they are cricketers from two different eras. We have seen players, even Indian players, opting for Indian Cricket League. Players like Ambati Rayadu and some of the other big names agreed to play for the league over the nation. Then, BCCI had barred them from representing their country and they were content with it. Well, BCCI later took this ban off and allowed the players to represent the nation and later, we saw Ambati Rayadu play for India.

Not that Indian are the only culprits when Pakistan is there. But yes, one thing is proven that the money-spinning leagues offer you such a whopping amount that you stop thinking and that has been the ploy. The question we are investigating is: did Virat Kohli do the same and not play for the country in the Dharamsala decider, which is probably India’s biggest challenge in this home season? If that is the case, then he has committed a crime, period. But knowing the ever-so aggressive captain, it is very unlikely to even think on those lines. Polly Umrigar awardee, Virat Kohli has remained at the top of the cricketing world for a couple of years now. He has scored runs in all formats and won India matches single-handedly. In the ongoing series, he has been woefully out-of-form and that has affected team India. So, is he one of those who hates being unsuccessful and hence, feels it is better to sit out than failing again. This, for sure, will hurt him but this is the harsh reality. He is missing out on the most important Test of the Indian home season, which is horrifying.

In an interview, Brad Hodge said, “You’d hope as a sportsman that he’s seriously injured. I’m hopeful, as a Gujarat Lions coach, that when we play RCB in a couple of weeks, that he’s not playing.”

Adding further he said, “Because if you miss one game of Test match cricket and you’re fronting up the next week for RCB versus whoever, Bangalore, at Chinnaswamy Stadium – you’d be pretty dirty if you did not front up to a Test match and try and win a valuable series against Australia – which has been pretty spiteful as well.”

Citing incidents from the past he said, “It’s happened before. Not just Virat but there are many players that have come up to IPL time and again. Look, we know it’s a cash rich tournament, there’s some money up for grabs. He (Kohli) gets paid a helluva lot of money anyway, so it does not matter, but there are certain players that will limp in, to IPL time, to make sure they get there and perform well, because it is an important tournament for everyone around the world.”