Bengaluru: The national selection committee’s decision to name India skipper Virat Kohli for the two-match T20 series against Ireland has created confusion as it is clashing with his county commitments for Surrey.
There were rumours in the BCCI corridors that the section which wasn’t happy with Kohli skipping the one-off Test match against Afghanistan has played a role in cutting short his county stint in favour of the T20 Internationals against the minnows.
India are set to play two T20I’s against Ireland in Dublin’s Malahide on June 27 and 29 while Kohli is scheduled to play his last county match for Surrey against Yorkshire at Scarborough from June 25 to 28.
According to an announcement made by the county: “India captain Virat Kohli will play for Surrey during the entire month of June.”
Despite the county matches schedule being announced much in advance before the team selection, it was surprising to find Kohli’s name for the two-match series against Ireland.
When chairman of selectors MSK Prasad was contacted by PTI for a clarification whether it was a clerical error, he said: “Kindly talk to the BCCI secretary on this issue.”
When BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary was asked, he replied, “Be rest assured, everything is fine.”
However, there has been no clarity as to what will be Kohli’s choice as he gets to play only three four-day matches during his stint.
“If the selectors have picked him for the Ireland T20Is despite the county dates being available, it means that he will not play the game against Yorkshire,” a senior BCCI official said when apprised of the situation.
“This cannot be a unilateral decision as the county contracts has been inked after much deliberation. Playing against Ireland means that he will get only two county games. It will be very interesting to know why has there been a change in Virat’s schedule if England Tests are paramount.”
Whether Surrey would agree to the new arrangement is another question because the contract was signed after a lot of deliberations regarding Kohli’s image rights.
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