Kohli had pulled out of the series-deciding fourth Test against Australia as he was not 100 percent fit after injuring his shoulder during the third match in Ranchi. Hodge hoped the Indian skipper would not turn out to be like the many cricketers who have “limped” into the lucrative IPL. ()
Reacting to Kohli’s injury, Hodge had said it would be “pretty dirty” of Kohli if he turns out for the IPL opening match as Royal Challengers Bangalore captain against David Warner’s Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 5.
“You’d hope as a sportsman that he’s seriously injured. I’m hopeful, as a Gujarat Lions coach, that when we play RCB in a couple of weeks, that he’s not playing,” Hodge was quoted by ‘Daily Telegraph’ as having told Fox Sports News’ Gameday Live.
“Because if you miss one game of Test match cricket and you’re fronting up the next week for RCB versus whoever, Bangalore, at Chinnaswamy Stadium – you’d be pretty dirty if you did not front up to a Test match and try and win a valuable series against Australia – which has been pretty spiteful as well,” said Hodge who played five Tests and 25 ODIs between 2005 and 2008.
“You would think that your captain would get out there and get among the fight and get in there.”
Hodge hoped the Indian skipper would not turn out to be like the many cricketers who have “limped” into the lucrative IPL.
It’s happened before. Not just Virat but there’s many players that have come up to IPL time and again. look, we know it’s a cash rich tournament, there’s some money up for grabs. He (Kohli) gets paid a helluva lot of money anyway, so it does not matter, but there are certain players that will limp in, to IPL time, to make sure they get there and perform well, because it is an important tournament for everyone around the world.”
The Australians comments drew the ire of many including that of Bollywood legend and Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir, who criticised Hodge on social media.
Hodge on Thursday posted an apology letter on his Twitter account. He said he never wanted to hurt anyone and were just light hearted comments.