Virat Kohli might skip Afghan Test for county stint

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New Delhi March 24: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday granted India skipper Virat Kohli permission to play county cricket this summer, ahead of India’s five-Test tour of England in August.

However, this also means that Kohli might miss India’s one-off Test against Afghanistan.

Scheduled between June 14 and 18 in Bengaluru, the Afghanistan cricket team will play their first Test match ever against India at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.

“Preparation time is something, which is very crucial for any side. So yeah, if I have the opportunity to go there [England] a few days before the start that will be great. I have actually been thinking about it, trying to work out how I can make it happen. Most definitely, if I have the time I’ll go and play there,” espncricinfo.com quoted Virat Kohli as saying after India had beaten England in the Chennai Test in 2016.

It is not yet known which county Kohli might play for before he joins the India squad for the limited-overs leg of the England tour in July. He has been linked to Surrey, however, the London-based county has not signed or held any talks with Kohli, espncricinfo.com reported.

Surrey had asked the BCCI about Kohli’s availability as an overseas player last year, but the Indian board had said that he would not be available because of the Afghanistan Test.

However, after the 2-1 loss in South Africa earlier this year, the India team management had acknowledged the need for better preparation in the lead up to challenging Test series.

India had arrived in South Africa barely a week before the Test series was scheduled to begin and even opted out of a tour match in order to have more practice sessions.

Kohli could now be the third Indian player after Pujara and Ishant Sharma to play county cricket this season.

Pujara and Ishant, who were unsold at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, will be playing for Yorkshire and Sussex respectively. (ANI)