NEW DELHI: India captain Virat Kohli’s much-hyped participation in English County Championship was on Thursday ruled out due to a neck injury, throwing his meticulously planned build-up for the tour of UK into disarray.
Kohli will require a three-week rehabilitation to recover from the injury, the BCCI said.
The 29-year-old will undergo a fitness test on June 15, which will confirm his availability for the initial phase of the UK limited-overs tour starting with the two T20 Internationals against Ireland in last week of June.
India will begin the series against England with T20Is in early July.
“Team India Captain Mr Virat Kohli suffered a neck injury while fielding during Match 51 of the VIVO IPL between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad on 17th May 2018 at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru,” BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary said in a press release.
“Kohli, who was scheduled to play for Surrey CCC in the month of June, has been ruled out from participating. This decision was taken following assessments by the BCCI Medical team, subsequent scans, and a specialist visit,” the release further stated.
The Indian captain will now undergo a period of rehabilitation under the supervision of the BCCI Medical team. He will begin training and subsequently undergo a fitness test at the NCA in Bengaluru from June 15.
“The BCCI Medical Team is confident that Kohli will regain full fitness ahead of India’s upcoming tours to Ireland and England,” Choudhary stated.
The batting mainstay had decided to miss the one-off Test against Afghanistan, starting June 14 in Bengaluru, to appear in county matches.
Kohli had visited a hospital in Mumbai for a check-up on Wednesday and it was reported that he is suffering from a slip disc injury and will not be playing for Surrey ahead of the UK tour.
However, a top BCCI official, who is privy to Kohli’s county engagements, clarified that it was a case of “neck sprain” and not a “slip disc injury” as reported. But there was no denying Kohli’s tremendous workload during the past one year.
In this phase, he appeared in nine Tests and 29 of the 32 ODIs that the national team played. He also played 9 out of India’s 18 T20 Internationals.
In all, he played 47 international matches with only Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya (48 each) playing a match more than him. Add to it, the 14 IPL matches and his tally goes up to 61 in all.
However, the one question that begs to be answered is why did Kohli not rest himself from a few matches during the IPL?
The BCCI has already put a programme in place where the centrally-contracted cricketers’ workload and injury management is monitored through the National Cricket Academy. The franchise physios and trainers are supposed to give weekly updates to the national team trainers and the ones present at the NCA.