Not everyone is happy with Indian captain Virat Kohli playing county cricket after the IPL is over, and before India begin their tour of England. English fast bowling legend Bob Willis told Sky Sports that he “can’t stand overseas players in county cricket”, and that the Indian skipper should be made to suffer during the Indian team’s tour of England. Kohli averaged only 13.4 on his last and only senior tour of England.
Willis said, “I can’t stand overseas players in county cricket. It doesn’t benefit the players stranded in the second XI year on year and the youngsters. The only way to improve our Test team is to have as many England-qualified players playing in the County Championship as possible. Instead, they’re going to pay Kohli, presumably, five figures a match so he can hone his skills in English conditions before a Test series. It’s nonsense.”
Willis, who has represented England in 90 Tests, continued, “He should be made to suffer and average 30 (sic) in England as he has done before. We don’t want England starting to lose Test matches at home because we’re accommodating all of these visiting players.”
In 2014, Kohli could only manage 134 runs across 10 innings. He failed to even register a half century in the entire series.
However, Surrey’s director of women’s cricket Ebony Rainford-Brent told Sky she was looking forward to Kohli’s county stint. “I would be absolutely ecstatic and I think most people would be,” she said. “Box office players like Kohli will give county cricket a bit of a buzz and it should be celebrated. You want the best people playing and if that turns out to be for Surrey, then so be it.”