Indian cricket team’s star batter, Virat Kohli, has withdrawn from the first two Test matches against England, citing ‘personal reasons,’ as confirmed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday. The BCCI urged fans and media to respect Kohli’s privacy and avoid speculating on the reason for his absence. Legendary England batter Kevin Pietersen echoed similar sentiments on social media, emphasizing the need to respect a sportsperson’s decision to pull out for personal reasons.
“If a sportsman pulls out for personal reasons, RESPECT IT! End of!” Pietersen posted on X.
This comes after England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced that star batter Harry Brook would also miss the India Test tour due to personal reasons. In a statement, ECB conveyed, “Harry Brook is set to return home with immediate effect for personal reasons from the England Men’s Test tour of India. He will not be returning to India. The England selectors will confirm a replacement player for the tour in due course.”
Virat Kohli had recently opted out of the first T20I against Afghanistan for “personal reasons.” During India’s tour of South Africa, he took a short break for personal reasons, missing an intra-squad practice game and flying to London within days after arriving in South Africa.
The last time Kohli took a break during a Test series, unrelated to injury, was in 2021 for paternity leave when his daughter Vamika was born. It highlights the need for understanding and respecting players’ personal choices amid their demanding schedules.