‘Respect Virat’s…’: BCCI’s request to fans after Kohli opts out of ENG Tests | Cricket

Team India has been dealt a massive blow in the lead-up to the upcoming Test series against Ben Stokes’ England. Former India skipper Virat Kohli is unavailable for the first two matches of the England Test series. Kohli has pulled out of the first two Tests for personal reasons, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed on Monday. BCCI secretary Jay Shah has revealed that India will soon name Kohli’s replacement for the first two Tests against England.

India’s Virat Kohli during a practice session (PTI)

Rohi Sharma’s Team India will meet England in the first Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Thursday. Kohli recently made his return to the T20I format in the three-match Afghanistan series. Batting icon Kohli missed the T20I series opener due to personal reasons. Kohli played a quick-fire knock against the Rashid Khan-less side in the series decider at Indore. The former India skipper then recorded his first-ever golden duck in his final T20I appearance for India ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup.

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ALSO READ: No Virat Kohli for India’s first 2 Tests against Ben Stokes’ England; BCCI to name replacement soon

Sharing a media advisory on Monday, the BCCI revealed that Kohli has requested the apex cricket board of India to be withdrawn from the first two Tests of the England series, citing personal reasons. Veteran Indian batter Kohli discussed his decision to skip the first two Tests with captain Rohit Sharma and the team management. The BCCI also urged the fans and media to refrain from speculating about Kohli’s exit from the Indian squad for the first two Tests.

BCCI’s earnest request for fans and media

“The BCCI respects his decision and the Board and team management has extended its support to the star batter and is confident in the abilities of the remaining squad members to step up and deliver commendable performances in the Test series. The BCCI requests the media and fans to respect Virat Kohli’s privacy during this time and refrain from speculating on the nature of his personal reasons. The focus should remain on supporting the Indian cricket team as they embark on the upcoming challenges in the Test series,” the BCCI said in a statement.

Did you know?

Kohli was not featured in India’s optional training session on Monday after arriving in Hyderabad. The former India skipper last played a Test match during the South Africa series. The 35-year-old played a crucial role in India’s series-levelling win over the Proteas at Cape Town. The batting maestro was rested for the entire white-ball series against South Africa. With Kohli unavailable for the first two Tests, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rajat Patidar, Abhimanyu Easwaran and Sarfaraz Khan are frontrunners to join the Indian squad for the England series.

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