Choudhary defends Kohli's county stint ahead of England tour

BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary said that the board is sending a few Test specialists early to England so that they acclimatise properly before the Test series in July.

Virat Kohli will be playing for Surrey during the month of June and will miss the historic occasion as India plays host to Afghanistan.   -  AFP

BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary on Tuesday urged critics to understand Virat Kohli’s intent of doing well in England Tests rather than taking a dig at him for not playing the landmark one-off Test against Afghanistan.

Kohli will be playing for Surrey during the month of June and will miss the historic occasion as India plays host to the war-ravaged nation.

“There was no intention (on Virat’s part) of not to play (against Afghanistan). It is only because of the English challenge, which we have to rise through to the satisfaction of the entire cricket fraternity in this country and Virat wants to sustain for the right reasons,” Choudhary told the media persons.

The acting secretary reiterated that the reason behind sending a few Test specialists early is to allow them to acclimatise properly before the Test series.

READ: Rahane to captain India for historic Test with Afghanistan

“We have taken this decision to allow Virat as well as some others to give them a fair opportunity of acclimatising themselves in England. Basically, it is not for the shorter format, but the longer one. Our focus remains Test cricket and we continue to believe that this is one format which is normally the genesis of cricket in the world, and it is something we need to nurse all time,” he added.

When asked why some of the openers were not sent for county stints, selection committee chief M.S.K. Prasad made it clear that it was only Virat, who got an offer, unlike others.

“He (Virat) only got the opportunity. I don’t know whether rest of the team really got it, but we would have been more than happy had they got a chance.”